The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, February 18, 2005

NAB talking a good game on indecency fines

According to the AJR,
The broadcast industry has become one of Washington's most feared economic special interests...

But the National Association of Broadcasters has seemed to me less that full-throated in its condemnation of the successive waves of Comstockery in Congress over the last year or two.

There are signs that, with the passage of HR 310 in the House, and S 193 to come, the NAB is preparing to join battle in the courts. Chairman Phil Lombardo a few days ago hit out at the FCC's enforcement of the indecency rules, and threatened, apparently, that
the NAB has a multimillion-dollar war chest to support an inevitable challenge by a broadcast company.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) have joined the fray over provisions in HR 310 seeking to penalise performers 'convicted' of on-air indecency.

And the NAB's top lobbyist Edward Fritts is stepping down. Quote:
The first thing I learned when I got to Washington is 'Hey, they're using live ammunition here, you've got to keep your head down.' There are no final victories and no final defeats in this town.

Sounds to me like a Lord Halifax, when what the NAB have decided they need is a Winston Churchill - prepared for total war.

Whether that gets past the druther stage, only time will tell.

(The text of HR 310 looks stuffed with nitpickable detail. Nothing completely ungermane, which undid the possibility of a successful conference on the 108th indecency fine increase legislation, but still offering the prospect of a stymie, with any luck.)

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