(Editor's Note: The following is a statement from L. Brent Bozell III regarding the Federal Communications Commission.)
When so many disparate organizations, groups ranging from the Catholic Conference to Common Cause; from the Family Research Council and the NRA to Move On, the Writer''s Guild of America, and the National Organization for Women are united on an issue, one of two things has happened. Either the earth has spun off its axis and we have all lost our minds, or there is universal support for the concept.
While I join everyone here in saluting those Commissioners who are voicing their concerns for the further deregulation of the television and radio industry, I am equally disappointed in those Commissioners who are listening only to the voices of a handful of massive corporations that stand to profit from further deregulation.
In 1989 the Big Three networks-NBC, ABC, and CBS-held a 17% ownership share of TV programming. By 2002 it had increased to 48%. Now add Fox, AOL/Time Warner, and ATT/Liberty, and these six megacorporations today control two-thirds of all viewers on television. Let''s be clear here: further deregulation will give them further control of the airwaves.
There are many reasons not to give these six megacorporations even more control of our airwaves, one of them being their utter lack of attentiveness to community standards. In the last year the PTC has sent out over 1.5 million community standard audits, of which over 128,000 have been returned. The numbers speak for themselves: 94.2% believe there shouldn''t be graphic violence during children''s viewing time, 93.1% think you shouldn''t have partial nudity during that time, 94.6% believe there should not be a promotion of homosexual sex, 94.5% say the same thing about oral sex, and 94.6% about sex with minors. 94.2% believe there shouldn''t be blasphemous language, 94.1% say the same thing about excretory language, 94.3% are against descriptions of sexual encounters, 93.8% are opposed to strong slurs, and 94.6% are opposed to strong sexual language during children''s viewing times.
Guess what? All these things can now be found on television, courtesy of these six megacorporations. They could care less who they offend and now want even more control of the airwaves where they can offend even more. Competition is not the answer because no one has the resources to compete with them. The only answer is to do the opposite of what Chairman Powell is suggesting. Maybe instead of giving more control, steps should be taken to take some of it away from those that are blatantly offending the American family.