Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

The "Times", the FCC and Oscar Night

Frank Rich's column today in the New York Times makes some provocative observations about the possible links among the demands from some viewers for more stringent enforcement of broadcast decency standards from the FCC, a resulting measureable drop in viewership for the 2005 Super Bowl half time show and other live shows, and Oscar host Chris Rock's recent comments about tonight's show, which the network will broadcast with a five second delay. Rich goes on to discuss the extent to which it is possible to return to the 1950s and early 1960s, when many of today's audience members actively seek the kind of entertainment that the FCC seems determined to discourage these days. Finally, he reviews financial contributions made by the media, communications, and entertainment community to certain members of the majority party, citing for example Comcast. According to the article, Comcast's pay per view networks provide quite a menu of porn for subscribers. But Comcast also provides quite a lot of campaign support for Republican Fred Upton, a leader in the current anti-porn, anti-indecency campaign and other members of the current party which dominates the Administration (see p. 17, citing the Center for Responsive Politics website). NB: The online article contains a correction not in the print copy.

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