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Indecency calls rise again
[February 21, 2006]

Indecency calls rise again

(Daily Variety Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
WASHINGTON Broadcast indecency complaints rose again in fourth quarter of 2005, the Federal Communications Commission reported.

In that period the commission received 44,109 complaints against radio and television content, compared with 26,185 complaints in the previous quarter.

The FCC did not specify which broadcasts provoked the complaints, but Parents Television Council claimed to have lodged more than 5,600 against the Vibe Awards, which aired in November. An episode of "NCIS" is said to have also prompted a large number of complaints around the same time.

Overall, 2005 was an erratic year for complaints. More than 157,000 came in during the first quarter, but the second quarter saw a significant drop with only 6,161 being lodged. The year closed out with approximately 233,400 total complaints.

That is still substantially lower than 2004, a banner year for indecency complaints, which totaled more than 1 million and were provoked mostly by Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl.

In response to those and other complaints, the House passed a bill dramatically upping indecency fines last year, but similar efforts in the Senate have stalled. Senate Commerce Committee chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has been holding hearings on how best to address broadcast indecency.

The FCC did not issue any indecency fines last year.

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