Senate Subcommittee Approves Anti-Obscenity Measure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has approved the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act (S. 1780), a piece of legislation that would allow the FCC to levy fines against broadcasters based on the broadcasts of a single "indecent" word or image.

The legislation was introduced by Senators John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), and cosponsored by Committee Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii).

"I am pleased to see the Commerce Committee swiftly approve this bill,'" said Senator Stevens. "It is important to give the FCC the tools it needs to continue to protect the American public from indecency on radio and broadcast television."

The committee's website states, "This legislation would specifically allow the FCC to establish that a single word or image in a given context may be considered indecent and levy fines against the broadcaster. It does not address or change the law regarding whether a word or image in a particular context is actually indecent."

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin praised the committee for its approval of the Act.

"I appreciate the actions by the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation, which affirmed the commission's ability to protect our children from indecent language and images on television and radio," Martin said. "Significantly, members of Congress stated once again what we on the commission and every parent already knows: Even a single word or image can indeed be indecent."