Tags: Wheeler | FCC | decency | nudity

Obama's FCC Nominee Faces Concern Over Decency Standards

Image: Obama's FCC Nominee Faces Concern Over Decency Standards Tom Wheeler

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 01:45 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Decency proponents are pushing back on a Federal Communication Commission proposal to pursue only "egregious" violations of television decency and fear that under a lighter standard, partial nudity and cursing will become more prevalent.

"If you think TV is bad now, just wait until the FCC all but sanctions nudity and profanity, permitting both as long as they are 'isolated,' whatever that means," Morality in Media President and CEO Patrick Trueman emailed supporters, the Washington Times reports.

Tom Wheeler, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the FCC faced deep questioning during Tuesday's Senate confirmation hearings on how he plans to protect and enforce airway decency standards.

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Family group and others have raised concerns about increased indecency on television, and are urging members of the committee overseeing the hearing to drill down on where FCC nominee stands and whether he intends to enforce current laws.

The groups fear a proposed change to laws governing incidents of obscenity and nudity violations will open the door for more of what one Utah man, writing in public comment on Wheeler's confirmation, called "garbage" on today's TV shows.

"We don't need any more garbage on TV!" the concerned citizen wrote. "There is enough garbage out there for those who want it. Those of us who don't shouldn't be forced to have to deal with it. You are making it impossible to watch any kind of TV without having to deal with filth!"

But broadcasters fear the FCC using hevy-handed tactics to go after them, suing over the occasional expletive or quick flash of skin. One executive described such action ,as "overreach."

Wheeler is a venture capitalist and former technology and telecommunications lobbyist with vast experience in the private sector.

"I am an unabashed supporter of competition," the free-market supporting Wheeler said in prepared remarks for Tuesday's Senate testimony, The Washington Post reported.

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