It seems the American Family Association is upset with FCC Chairman Michael Powell, according to the e-mail I received from them last night. They’ve set up a lovely website for you to register your displeasure with a few clicks and contribute to what they hope is an overwhelming volume of e-mail in protest.
I did in fact make use of their site, but as I suspected, they left the text of the message open for editing. I didn’t send the exact letter they asked me to. I’ll paste the original e-mail, the text of my e-mail, and the original text below. If you feel strongly about this, I encourage you to head to http://capwiz.com/afanet/alert6755986a.html and do your part. Feel free to use my text if you like my opinion better than the AFA’s.
The original e-mail:
FCC Chairman Powell sides with ABC on use of ‘f’ word
The children of America and those who love decency need your help.FCC Chairman Michael Powell has asked that no action be taken against the ABC stations that aired over 20 uses of the “f” word and at least 12 “s” words during “Saving Private Ryan,” which shown during prime time last month.Powell’s reason for taking no action opens the door for broadcasters to show any type programming. He believes there should be no action because the use of the profanity was part of an accurate representation of the events depicted, and this made them acceptable.Using Powell’s reasoning, a show about the sex life of two homosexuals would be free to show graphic sex because it would be an accurate representation of their sexual activity. There would be no limits regarding what could be shown and the law regarding indecent material would be meaningless. Any program, no matter how indecent, could claim that the material was needed in order to be an accurate representation.If Powell can get only two other Commissioners to agree with him, then the networks and local broadcasters will be free to show anything. Everything they show, no matter how indecent, could be classified as being an accurate representation. That is what they have been wanting for years. Powell is only two votes away from giving the broadcasters their desire.We realize it is important for families, especially our children, to recognize the sacrifices made by our loved ones during wartime. However, airing excessively profane language during prime-time television hours is not necessary to convey that sacrifice. We believe ABC should have aired their salute to heroes without violating broadcast decency laws.The movie could have easily have been edited for TV, but ABC refused. Powell is now defending ABC’s move, making it possible to open Pandora’s box on program content.TAKE ACTIONPlease send an email letter to your Representative and Senators. Ask them to personally tell Chairman Powell to enforce the law, not to destroy it.Your email will go to your two U.S. Senators, your Representative, Chairman Powell and the other four FCC Commissioners.Please send your email now. Then forward this to your friends and family.
I was informed about this issue via a mailing from The American Family Association, who has been spreading a scare campaign revolving around the fact that FCC Chairman Michael Powell has publicly stated that no action should be taken regarding the prime time airing of “Saving Private Ryan” on ABC last month. He says no action should be taken because the 20 uses of the “f” word and 12 uses of the “s” word were an accurate representation of the events depicted in the movie.
So far, so good. Where the AFA goes wrong is to state: “Using his reasoning, nothing could be declared indecent or obscene. A program on homosexuality would be free to show homosexuals having graphic sex because it would be an accurate representation of the program.
“Apparently Chrm. Powell has decided to abandon his responsibility to the public and give the networks and broadcasters what they have long wanted, the freedom to show anything they desire without fear of violating the law. They can always argue that their program was an accurate representation.”
Although I am Christian in my beliefs (as the AFA claims to be), I am using the website and mechanism the AFA has put together to allow their members to send you a message that is different from what they would like me to say: let Chairman Powell do his job to the best of his conscience. If he is breaking laws, then let him (in the same spirit of civil disobedience that prompted Martin Luther King Jr.) take the consequences of that action as part of the price of standing up for what he believes. If such an action is within his authority, excellent.
Our traditional broadcast media have always been heavily subsidized by advertisers. If the AFA and their army of outraged families don’t like ABC’s policies, let them respond by informing ABC’s advertisers. Let them stick up for *their* beliefs by boycotting advertisers that sponsor programs they don’t like. Let them be willing to shoulder the burden of their convictions on an equal playing field with the rest of us.
I don’t need the AFA to make parenting easy for me. If I don’t want my kids to watch shows with depictions I find disturbing, *I don’t let them*. It is really that simple. The AFA does not appear to be concerned with teaching their followers how to be good parents and how to pass on morals, ethics, and wholesome values by example. They appear to want to deprive me of the choices I have because they find it easier to bully the government into doing the parenting for them.
As one of your constituents, I implore you to stay out of an FCC internal matter and let the AFA and its members practice what they preach by actually being the adults and moderating what they and their families see and hear, rather than demanding government censorship to do it for them.
Thank you for your time.
Their original text:
The American Family Association has informed me that FCC Chairman Michael Powell has publicly stated that no action should be taken regarding the prime time airing of “Saving Private Ryan” on ABC last month. He says no action should be taken because the 20 uses of the “f” word and 12 uses of the “s” word were an accurate representation of the events depicted in the movie. He is wrong! Action should be taken against the stations that violated the law.
Using his reasoning, nothing could be declared indecent or obscene. A program on homosexuality would be free to show homosexuals having graphic sex because it would be an accurate representation of the program.
Apparently Chrm. Powell has decided to abandon his responsibility to the public and give the networks and broadcasters what they have long wanted, the freedom to show anything they desire without fear of violating the law. They can always argue that their program was an accurate representation.
As my elected representative, I implore you to personally speak with Chrm. Powell and tell him to enforce the law, not to unilaterally change it.
May I hear from you on this matter?