Tuned In

Will Obama's FCC Give Decency Cops the Finger?

  • Share
  • Read Later

Two related news items on the TV-regulation front: 

* The Parents Television Council issued a response to Sunday’s Golden Globes broadcast, in which The Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky flipped his star Mickey Rourke the bird on camera: “It was disappointing that a small number of narcissistic performers placed their need to be vulgar ahead of any consideration for families and children in the viewing audience at home.” The PTC chided NBC for rating the broadcast TV-PG, but also credited the network for removing the gesture from the West Coast feed and—at least so far—does not seem to be launching one of its legendary write-the-FCC campaigns

* President-Elect Obama reportedly is on the verge of naming an FCC chair: his tech adviser Julius Genachowski. I don’t know much about Genachowski (though I support the advancement of Slavs in government), but his appointment seems to suggest an emphasis on tech issues like net neutrality—as opposed to the focus on indecency adopted by Kevin Martin after the Janet Jackson Super Bowl flash nearly five years ago. 

I don’t know that Obama is necessarily as libertarian on broadcast-regulation issues as I am, but on the broadcast-decency front, his statements and actions so far seem to focus on parental responsibility. The PTC, for its part, is nothing if not politically savvy, and I wonder if it’s going to be changing course—emphasizing advertiser campaigns and other protests (as well as, maybe, focusing more on cable a la carte options) rather than agitating for government content regulation.