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Broadcast Indecency Bill Refined

Washington- Senator Sam Brownback wants to narrow the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act to improve its chance of passage.

The House has already approved increasing fines on broadcasters to $500,000 for indecency violations but Senator Ted Stevens has worked to add language that changes the definition of indecency to include obscene and profane speech and includes cable channels to the list of programmers that the FCC can penalize. While pro family groups generally like the additions John Rankin, a Spokesman for Senator Sam Brownback, says they could hinder passage.

“Senator Brownback’s position is that we should move forward on this issue on the areas that we all agree which is to increase fines which currently are so small that they hardly serve as a deterrent for broadcasters.”

Keeping the bill to its original intent will guarantee passage in the Senate according to Pat Trueman, Special Counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund.

“What Senator Brownback wants is a pure bill, cleaned up, only targeting indecency on broadcast radio and television. If that succeeds I think this could pass.”

Trueman says the time is right to pass stiffer fines because the FCC now has someone at the helm that will enforce them.

“You’ve got a Federal Communications Commission headed by Kevin Martin, who is very strong on enforcement of Federal Indecency Law. Give him the tools to do his job and he will do it.”

He says Brownback’s bill sends the message that indecency is unacceptable.

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