When Can The F-Word Air On Primetime Tv?
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Friday that the agency's decision to fine broadcasters for airing indecent language depends in part on "context." Asked at a news conference why the FCC allowed broadcasters to air Saving Private Ryan, which has numerous uses of the f-word throughout, but fined PBS stations for airing the documentary The Blues, which also does so, Martin replied, "We look at how integral the words are, how easy it could've been to have the same effect without using those words." Martin also indicated that the commission looked into programs about which it had received "thousands of complaints." However, critics of its decision-making process pointed out that virtually all of those complaints were generated by a single group, the conservative Parents Television Council. In a statement on Friday concerning the FCC's actions, Tim Winter, PTC executive director, said, ""The airwaves must remain safe for families when children are likely to be in the audience. Those who violate the public trust are breaking the law and must be punished accordingly."