Indecency on TV: Supreme Court reluctant to ease profanity rules

The Supreme Court seemed reluctant Tuesday to end the government’s historic policing of the broadcast airwaves and to strike down the “indecency” rules that guide prime-time TV shows.

Broadcasters use the public airwaves, and the “government can insist on a certain modicum of decency,” said Justice Antonin Scalia during oral arguments on the constitutionality of a ban on four-letter words and nudity.

“All we are asking for is for a few channels” where parents can be confident their children will not hear profanity or see sex scenes, said Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is a parent of two young children.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Movies & Television, Theology

5 comments on “Indecency on TV: Supreme Court reluctant to ease profanity rules

  1. Jim the Puritan says:

    We are getting closer to the day when Christians will stop watching television, if they haven’t already. I haven’t watched American network TV in years.

  2. St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse says:

    Funny, the Neilsen people called me last night, but since I work in public broadcasting, I couldn’t participate in their survey. Had they asked, I would have told them that our kids watch 2 hours of TV per week, MAX, and that would be ‘Nature’ and ‘Nova’ on PBS. I watch a little football, but can’t let the kids watch with me, for fear of the crass sitcom promos, ads, and other garbage the networks see fit to embed into their sports programming. We cut our cable off 7 years ago, and I don’t regret it at all…

  3. Jim the Puritan says:

    For me, I’m pretty much down to HGTV and the Food and Travel Channels. I’ll watch a good bad sci-fi movie (if you know what I mean) on the SyFy Channel, but those are getting rarer. I often think there are big opportunities for Hallmark to put on better TV, since they are the only station in our area that still promotes itself as “family oriented,” but most of their stuff is movie versions of women’s romantic novels, usually with variations on the same plot, but set in different locations.

    The biggest misnomer is the “ABC Family Channel.” Some of the stuff to me borders on pornography, and most of their programming is certainly inappropriate for children and teens, and I would question the judgment of an adult who would watch.

  4. Charles52 says:

    It’s worth remember that the motto of ABC Family Channel is “A NEW Kind of Family”. That should say about all you need to know.

  5. Capt. Father Warren says:

    With Roku, Netflix, GBTV, the cable is history; we were paying $60/mo to watch a few old shows and Glen Beck. Not anymore! Oh, don’t forget a good HDTV antenna to pick up local stations.