A friend just sent me this here article about the next battleground in the FCC's War on Indecency. It raises some interesting points, which will now be summarized for your enjoyment.
For a while I thought it would be fun to start a group called the Parents Parents Television Council Council, which would basically act as an antidote to the PTC - bombarding the FCC with counter-complaints whenever the PTC got their Mormon undies in a bunch about the latest uncensored portrayal of the genuine human experience. Well, someone has beaten me to it: meet SpeakSpeak News, a website dedicated to counter-balancing the PTC. According to the Washington Post, a recent episode of CSI generated 12,000 PTC complaints and 1,000 SpeakSpeak counter-complaints. Godspeed, my friends.
In addition, Some people in Congress are finally growing some balls and standing up for sensible entertainment regulation. Representative Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced a bill that would put the kaibash on Senator Ted Stevens' (R-Ak.) plan to extend the FCC's indecency regulation beyond the broadcast media (my take on that is available here). Note that Rep. Sanders is an Independent - the Democrats are still too afraid to stand up for freedom of speech in any meaningful way (the latest bill increasing indecency fines passed in the House 389 to 38). Which brings us to my next point.
Joe Lieberman is a complete wank. He cosponsored the Senate version of the House's bill to crank up indecency fines. I'm very glad he's not our Vice President.
Looking forward, I'm not sure how all this will pan out. Re. Sanders' bill will not go anywhere. It won't have the support among Democrats to make it out of committee, let alone to the floor. However, I think the FCC's broadcast indecency crusade is fading fast, due to Michael Powell's departure and an increasing awareness that the PTC is single-handedly responsible for creating the illusion of a nationwide indecency problem (Brent Bozell once claimed that PTC members paid Mr. Powell's paycheck, a fact that has come around to bite him and his group in their collective ass).
The movement to extend regulation beyond broadcast may have enough strength to pose a problem, however. The fact that it's coming from Congress rather than the FCC will allow its proponents to divorce it somewhat from the increasingly unpopoular indecency crusade of 2004 (Michael Powell, oddly enough, is against extending indecency regulation into cable and satellite). I suspect that mouthbreathing Republicans and spineless Democrats will push the increased regulation through, setting the stage for a reconsideration of indecency regulation by a Supreme Court with at least one or two Bush II appointees. Should be fun.