Hey, I missed the Victoria’s Secret show last night picking up my parents from the airport, but I’ve seen pictures and stuff and I can visualize. Much to my amazement, the wretched Bachelor (see Jan Herman’s review here) doubled the ratings of Victoria’s models, proving once again something or other about the public – I guess that a lot of them like stupid shit.
But anyway, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps (one of five commissioners and the only Democrat) thinks we may a little soft on TV indecency: he got a few emails about Victoria’s Flesh:
- “The current definition of indecency to me should be capturing for enforcement purposes some of these programs and it is not,” Copps told reporters during a briefing. “We are only having a paucity of enforcement actions against programming that is palpably and demonstrably indecent.” [Reuters]
Like me, however, the dude missed the show. Maybe he was picking up his parents at the airport:
- Copps said he did not watch the fashion show that aired on Viacom Inc.’s CBS television network.
Federal indecency rules bar the broadcast of obscene material and limit the airing of indecent material that contains sexual or excretory references in a patently offensive manner.
“I am strongly of the opinion we ought to be considering excessive violence as part of that definition,” he said. A revision is “sensitive, it’s delicate, it’s difficult to do that, but I think we need to do that.”
Copps made the comments to reporters in his office. Behind him on his computer there were more than 300 e-mails from the public complaining about the lingerie fashion show. Some of the e-mails had subject lines that said: “When will this trash stop?” and “Victoria’s Secret smut show.”
Of course, under the circumstances, 300 isn’t all that many emails (I have received 300 emails in a day before and I wasn’t posing provocatively in my underwear on national TV), and like we said yesterday, it’s not like people weren’t warned about the show in advance: it was proudly advertised as “trash” and “smut.” Were the viewers expecting nuns? I think Victoria’s Habits was on EWTN last week.
Copps raised another interesting point:
- Copps on Thursday also wondered if there was a link between the rise in what he described as more indecency in broadcasts and the consolidation in the media industry, or whether it was merely a “simple coincidence.”
Separately, the commissioner, the lone Democrat on the commission, said he would go ahead with plans to hold public hearings on the agency’s review of ownership limits in the media, even though the idea has not won support from FCC Chairman Michael Powell.
The FCC is reviewing limits on how much of the national television audience one entity should be allowed to reach; limits on local radio station concentration; and a ban on some common ownership of television and radio stations, or a television station and newspaper.
The agency hopes to have a proposal for the commissioners to review by the spring of 2003.