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Failing Families

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One more week, one more headline of the current administration’s failure to protect children.

Last week, we told you about President Obama’s lack of leadership to protect children from pornography by failing to oppose the approval of a new domain designation (.xxx) for pornographic and obscene material. This week, it is Acting Solicitor General (SG) Neal Katyal who is apparently not sure whether protecting children from indecent material through our broadcast airwaves during “family hour” is a worthy cause.

As Broadcasting & Cable reports, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has no more extensions to appeal the disastrous ruling by the Second Circuit in Fox v. FCC. Yet, “an FCC source” says the SG “still hasn’t decided whether to appeal.”

“A spokesperson for the SG’s office had not returned a call at press time,” author John Eggerton writes. Surprise, surprise.

I sincerely hope they don’t have time to respond because they are hard at work preparing the appeal. This is an important issue. If the Second Circuit’s decision stands, the FCC’s authority to regulate indecent material in broadcast television is greatly impaired, if not effectively dead.

If we had a hard time getting indecency enforcement before, can you imagine what we will get if this ruling declaring the FCC’s indecency enforcement “unconstitutionally vague” stands?

The case at issue here involved a series of “vulgar expletives” uttered by Cher and Nicole Richie during a broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards.

We are talking about using the “F-word” and other sexually explicit words at a time when children of every age are watching. Broadcasters are not being prevented from using the language, just from airing them at a time when children are most likely to watch.

Still, broadcasters are not content with that. They want unfettered access to our children to peddle any type of vulgarity they like, in the name of “freedom of speech” and “artistic expression.”

But parents do not buy their sleazy tactics. Parents want the FCC to follow their congressional mandate and maintain community standards of decency at least during the so-called “family hour.” If children are not free to sit down with their parents to watch the Super Bowl without being exposed to nudity and vulgarity, there is simply no safe harbor for us any more. The FCC has completely failed in its mandate and “We the People” have been robbed in broad daylight, as the broadcasting airwaves are supposed to belong to us.

This is yet another issue where President Obama’s silence is deafening. Even though we are aware of the many challenges facing our nation, the children who represent our future are being continually attacked by domestic forces without any opposition from the current administration.

The watchtower stands tall and mighty but completely empty. It is time for President Obama to show up to protect our families.

Appealing this decision would be a great start.