Tennesee Residents, You Might Lose Your Adult Cable

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tomorrow at noon, the House Civil Practice subcommittee will vote on HB 1108. The proposed bill would criminalize the broadcasting of "obscene programming" on television, satellite or cable. The bill would also criminalize the "advertising of obscene materials."

All this despite the fact that broadcasting "obscene material" is currently illegal everywhere on any medium. Criminalizing the advertising of "obscene" material is adding a new wrinkle, but it would be up to a jury to determine what is obscene, so a pre-emptive strike would seem unconstitutional.

However, on the eve of the bill going to a vote, David Fowler, the president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, has sent a letter urging "concerned" citizens to take action.

He writes that "two members" of the subcommittee "are on the fence" regarding the bill and "they need to hear from you today."

Fowler goes on in his letter to remind his readers that it initially appeared that the majority of the subcommittee didn't support the bill. However, after an e-mail campaign produced a flood of "hundreds" of messages from citizens, "some members" of the subcommittee rethought their opposition to the bill.

Since that time, Fowler claims his organization has been working with the bill's sponsors, Sen. Doug Jackson (D-Dickson) and Rep. Mike Turner (D-Nashville), to put together an amendment that would "satisfy some members of the House Civil Practice Subcommittee without undermining the bill's purpose."

According to Fowler, "some members want to let the cable companies off the hook and only go after the 'networks' that run the bad programming."

Fowler claims the cable companies must be included in the bill. But he also makes the claim that "wealthy cable companies" and the powerful Tennessee Broadcasters Association are "lobbying against the bill."
To that end, he urges another e-mail campaign to keep this dubious bill alive.

Maybe, as concerned citizens, YOU could write in too and help defeat this bill. In the words of Mr. Fowler, "Please contact Rep. Henry Fincher and Rep. John Lundberg today. Their votes are critical."