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Statement of The Media Institute on the Networks' Lawsuits Against the FCC

FOR RELEASE: April 28, 2006

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute


Arlington, Va., April 28, 2006 - The Media Institute released the following statement today regarding the lawsuits filed by the networks and their affiliates against the FCC over its standards for indecency and profanity:

Statement of The Media Institute on the Networks' Lawsuits Against the FCC

The FCC now finds itself locked in a battle with the television networks and their affiliates over a matter of program content: specifically, how to define the words and images that will be considered indecent or profane. The Supreme Court addressed this issue in the 1978 Pacifica radio case. Given the changes in social mores and technology that have occurred in the intervening span of almost three decades, however, this appears to be an opportune time for the courts to revisit this matter.

The judiciary could: (1) define the scope of the FCC's authority to regulate content; (2) determine if the FCC should clarify its standards for television so that broadcasters can predict how the standards will be applied; (3) consider the impact of new technologies that permit parents to determine what their children can watch; and, most importantly, (4) evaluate the applicability of First Amendment protections.