ACLU Fires Back

Published September 1, 2007

Although Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) grabbed the spotlight with his attack on TV violence, little noticed at the time was a proposal by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) to craft a bill strengthening the FCC’s profanity-regulation powers and giving it authority to regulate violence.

The American Civil Liberties Union wrote to legislators asking them to oppose such a move.

“Recent court decisions, ignored by the FCC in its report, clearly show that in light of the current technologies enabling parents to control content precisely and through a variety of mechanisms, the government will need to demonstrate a compelling basis before it can regulate media content,” the ACLU noted.

“In addition,” continued the ACLU, “the means of regulation will have to be narrowly tailored. The most effective and most precise mechanisms are those already available to all parents.”

Frank Barbetta