Walden: FCC indecency rules could be overthrown

[via FMQB]

Speaking to broadcasters yesterday, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) of the House Telecommunications Subcommittee said he could envision the Supreme Court taking away the FCC's powers over indecency on the airwaves. The FCC's recent decisions on indecency are being challenged in court by three of the major TV networks.

Walden says that he supports an increase in FCC fines and the Commission's powers, but says that the vague nature of past indecency rulings could give the courts the opening they need. According to Variety, Walden said the FCC has a history of a "patchwork quilt of crazy decisions" with "no logic" to them. Walden encouraged the broadcasting industry to better educate government legislators about their situation. “Talk about the challenges you face with new technologies and about the opportunities they give us,” he said. “Tell them how consolidation has helped stations stay on the air where they would otherwise be dark. Don't assume that members of Congress know about what you know."

At the NAB-sponsored conference in Washington D.C., Walden also said to expect more government control over ad content and pressure on TV violence. "Keep your hand next to the panic button. Advertising is likely to get blamed for everything. Forget personal responsibility. Paternal government is back."

Walden himself is a broadcaster, owning five stations. He also suggested that if the XM/Sirius merger is allowed, then perhaps the media ownership rules should be loosened as well.

article originally published at http://www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=359261.

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