For Immediate Release
Friday, October 8, 2004
Gene Kimmelman, CU, 202-462-6262
Mark Cooper, CFA, 301-384-2204
ON FAILURE OF PASSAGE OF THE INDECENCY BILL
Although Consumers Union and the Consumers Federation of America were not very involved in the debate over indecency fines, we were hopeful that Congress would enact the Dorgan amendment on media ownership limits and the Hollings amendment to prevent excessive violence on primetime tv programming.
The failure of Congress to enact legislation imposing higher fines for indecency was solely the fault of the Republican leadership. Republican leaders had every opportunity to deal with indecency either in conjunction with or separate from issues of media ownership and TV violence, and any efforts to blame the sponsors of these amendments for the failure of the indecency bill are wholly without merit.
The Republican leadership refuses to acknowledge the connection between concentration of ownership and the failure of the media to understand the viewing tastes and desires of local audiences. It appears that the Congressional Republican leadership cares more about making the media conglomerates richer and even more powerful than the needs and interests of the viewing public, including public concern about indecent programming.