Wednesday is something like D-Day in Congress for broadcast indecency. Competing hearings have been announced for both House and Senate Commerce Committees this Wednesday morning (Feb. 11).
In the House, witnesses so far for Rep. Fred Upton's, R-Mich., Telecom Subcommittee include: Harry Pappas, chairman and chief executive officer, Pappas Telecasting Companies; Mel Karmazin, president and chief operating officer, Viacom Inc.; Paul Tagliabue, commissioner, National Football League; and all five FCC commissioners.
Witnesses will testify on Upton's bill to raise penalties significantly for broadcast indecency violations, the "Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004."
On the Senate side, all five commissioners also are expected to testify. The topic for the Senate Commerce Committee is "Protecting Children from Violent and Indecent Programming."
Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., is also said to be interested in determining whether the broadcast indecency rules can also apply to cable.