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Parents Television Council - Because Our Children Are Watching

Press Release

October 18, 2004


PTC Files Indecency Complaint over NBC's Airing of Dale Earnhardt Expletive

Los Angeles, CA - The Parents Television Council, the nation's most influential advocacy organization protecting children against sex, violence and profanity in entertainment, filed an indecency complaint last Thursday with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against the NBC network for airing Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s S-word expletive after the Sunday, October 3 NASCAR race. The PTC and its nearly one million members nationwide have asked the FCC to levy a Notice of Apparent Liability against each NBC affiliate that aired the program.

The program that contained the indecent material was broadcast live around 5:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. CT and was seen in homes across the country on NBC network affiliates.

"NBC knows that NASCAR has a huge family audience. NBC and its affiliates should be fined for airing the S-word at a time when millions of children were likely to be in the viewing audience," said L. Brent Bozell, president of the PTC.

"After the fact, NBC announced they would be putting all future NASCAR race coverage on a 5-second tape delay. But frankly, NBC should have taken this action long before the Earnhardt incident, especially given NBC's past problems with indecent language during live broadcasts, including Bono's utterance of the F-word during the 2003 Golden Globe awards.

"This is precisely why Congress needs to increase indecency fines. Television networks need to get serious about halting the flow of indecent material over the broadcast airwaves, but that won't happen when the financial penalties can be absorbed as a reasonable cost of doing business.

"We are demanding that the FCC impose the maximum fine allowable under the law against every NBC affiliate that aired this offense. We further demand that the FCC consider license revocation as a real option given the repetitive nature of these offenses," said Bozell.

The Parents Television Council was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has over one million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

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