March 20, 2006
Here’s the way I feel about laws: if you’re going to have them, enforce them. If you’re not going to enforce them, get rid of them. That goes for illegal immigrants and it goes for broadcasting.
The previously powerless Federal Communications Commission in recent years has begun to enforce the law. Broadcasters don’t like it, but that’s too bad for them. They use the public airwaves to come into our homes.
The most recent FCC action is a propose $3.6 million fine against dozens of CBS stations and affiliates. It’s part of a crackdown on what regulators call indecent television programming.
The agency said a network program, “Without a Trace,” that aired in December, 2004, was indecent. It cited the graphic depiction of “teenage boys and girls participating in a sexual orgy.”
There is plenty of other outrageous stuff on TV, including names for private body parts and bodily fluids. But I say good for the FCC and let’s hope they see this through and forces not only CBS, but the other networks to clean up their act.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.