Monday, December 06, 2004

Stuffing the ballot box, puritan-style

In an appearance before Congress in February, when the controversy over Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl moment was at its height, Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell laid some startling statistics on U.S. senators.

The number of indecency complaints had soared dramatically to more than 240,000 in the previous year, Powell said. The figure was up from roughly 14,000 in 2002, and from fewer than 350 in each of the two previous years. There was, Powell said, “a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes.”

What Powell did not reveal—apparently because he was unaware—was the source of the complaints. According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003—99.8 percent—were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group.

When compared to the shenanigans in Ohio and Florida on Nov. 2nd, this is chump change. But you gotta marvel at the manipulative skill of these folks. And it is simply fascinating the way the article covers Junior Powell's ass by claiming he was unaware that fewer than 500 of the 240,000 complaints received in an entire year -- that's about 2 per business day -- were from anyone other than PTC. Yeah, suuuure.


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