Supreme Court hears arguments in landmark decency case
Author Teresa Tomeo sees importance of decency guidelines – and their enforcement – for public airwaves
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 10, 2012 – The United States Supreme Court today hears oral arguments in a landmark case testing the Federal Communications Commission’s ability to police the public airwaves.
“The case before the Supreme Court should stop anyone concerned about our culture in their tracks; parents, educators, health officials, religious leaders and any American who owns a television,” said bestselling author Teresa Tomeo. “The public airwaves are just that – public. We have a right to expect at least some sort of guidelines for broadcasters to stay in place.”
The Washington Post reports that the case has made it all the way to the Supreme Court because major television networks have argued successfully in lower courts that today’s media world pits over-the-air programming side-by-side against cable-exclusive content, which is not subject to FCC decency laws. Over-the-air broadcasters contend that targeting them for policing is wrong and unconstitutional.
“If you play this out beyond contemporary community standards,” said Parents Television Council President Tim Winters in a statement, “an overturning of broadcast-decency (regulation) opens the door for the airing of hardcore pornography at any time of the day – even when children are in the audience – so long as the marketplace will support it. How does that serve the public interest?”
“The studies showing a direct connection between various types of TV content and its effect on society are simply overwhelming,” Tomeo added. “How many more reports, surveys, copycat crimes do we need before the networks take their roles as public servants more seriously? Removing the few laws that currently remain on the books would be devastating – especially to children and families. I applaud the Parents TV Council for raising awareness on this crucial case and join them in their efforts to make a difference in the mass media.”
In her new book EXTREME MAKEOVER, available now from Ignatius Press, Tomeo reports on the pervasiveness of toxic, sexually oriented messages in today’s media culture. She urges women, children and families to make an “extreme media makeover” to rid themselves of those messages, and the toxic images that bombard them daily, and instead embrace the truth about themselves and their dignity.
To schedule an interview with Tomeo and/or to request a review copy of EXTREME MAKEOVER, contact Tim Lilley (TLilley@MaximusMG.com) or Kevin Wandra (KWandra@MaximusMG.com) of The Maximus Group at 678-990-9032, or at the email addresses above.