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The finger on the invisible hand

FCC: You’ve got mail

Monday, December 06, 2004

Lately, you may have been hearing a lot about indecency complaints brought against the FCC. The number of indecency complaints in 2003 numbered over 240,000, easily outpacing the record of 14,000 set in 2002. In the years preceding 2003, there were far less than 1000 complaints a year.

If the networks haven’t done anything illegal... why do they care what we say?

Many believe these complaints to be coming from very small but vocal groups such as the Parents Television Council. But the Parents Television Council is not so sure. “I wish we had that much power,” said Lara Mahaney, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles-based group. “Why does it matter how the complaints come? If the networks haven’t done anything illegal, if they haven’t done anything indecent, why do they care what we say?”

But where do these letters come from? When asked at a National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas, Chairman Powell claimed ignorance. There was, Powell said, “a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes.” Powell’s fellow commissioner, Kathleen Abernathy, claimed indifference on the credibility of a complaint’s source. “As long as you’re following precedents and the law,” Abernathy said, “it shouldn’t matter.”

I would not want my son, Fluffy, to have to accidentally watch some of this filth

We at NewsBlog 5000, using sources obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, have found the sources of these complaints. We found that 99.8 percent of the complaints made to the FCC were in fact the action of one organization: The organization, the Parents Examining Nationally Indecent Stations, pronounced “pen is”. The organization consists of Mrs. Hazel Walney of Pensacola, FL and her dog, Fluffy. “What people have to understand,” said Hazel “is that I am a parent. And I would not want my son, Fluffy, to have to accidentally watch some of this filth on television. That’s why it is so important that I can expose my PENIS to the world.”

Some people would say that Hazel’s campaigns are extreme. Many say that her campaign to take “Nash Bridges” off the air because Chuck Norris has “bedroom eyes” is only overshadowed by her complaints that “Jews should not be able to report the News.” No matter what people think, Hazel plans stands firm on her convictions. “People treat censorship like it’s a dirty word,” Hazel stated, “I am here to tell them that it is not. I have all the dirty words written down in my book.” Hazel has to spend as much as twenty hours a day simultaneously watching television and writing complaints. But doesn’t that expose Hazel to the filth and depravity that she herself complains about? “I can take it,” said Hazel, “I was a hostess during the war. I just make sure to lock Fluffy in the other room.”

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