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Powell: ‘We’re Beefing Up Indecency Enforcement’

Powell: ‘We’re Beefing Up Indecency Enforcement’

All 5 FCC commissioners testified before Congress over broadcast indecency in back-to-back hearings in the Senate and House Wednesday. Agency Chairman Michael Powell urged lawmakers to pass bills to raise the levels of fines for broadcast indecency violations “at least ten-fold.”
“We need this increased authority to ensure that our enforcement actions are meaningful deterrents and not merely the cost of doing business,” Powell said.
He’s challenged broadcasters to re-institute a voluntary code of conduct.
Additionally, Powel pledged to begin license revocation procedures for “egregious and continued disregard” of the decency laws and begin treating multiple indecent utterances within a single program as constituting multiple indecency violations.
Powell took heat from lawmakers for issuing only 3 broadcast indecency notices in ’03; Powell said many more cases are pending and would be handled soon.
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said additionally, cable and satellite broadcasters need to be part of any voluntary conduct code, the FCC should reform its complaint process to take the burden of proof off those who make the complaints and graphic violence should be added to the indecency standard.