FCC Swamped With Oprah Indecency Complaints

FCC Swamped With Oprah Indecency Complaints – May 4, 2004
MAY 4–In the wake of an Oprah Winfrey show that included explicit talk about teen sexuality (and addressed topics such as rainbows and getting one’s salad tossed), the Federal Communications Commission received more than 1600 letters complaining about the racy March 18 broadcast and demanding that the talk show host be cited for indecency. And since most FCC correspondents were prodded to write by the agency’s Public Enemy Number One, Howard Stern, and ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel, the Oprah complaints are particularly entertaining and vituperative in their decrying of a double standard employed by the fine-happy FCC brass. Below you’ll find a sampling of the Oprah complaints, a small chunk of the stack we received via a Freedom of Information Act request (the name of the FCC official who handles FOIA requests, one Sharon Jenkins, appears at the top of each letter because she is the one who prints out the individual missives before providing them to TSG). Since the commission redacts the names of letter writers, there is no way to actually confirm the true identity of letter writers like the “parent” who, having returned home from “Bible day camp” with their three-year-old twins, had to endure Oprah’s “disgusting rhetoric.” Or the “teacher” who worried about his third grade students “viewing these vulgar conversations about sex.” Despite the complaints, it is unlikely that stations broadcasting Winfrey’s March show–which originally aired, to little apparent notice, in October 2003–will be sanctioned. (14 pages)

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The Fiddling Librarian 3.0 is Kevin Smith’s personal weblog. Kevin is a recent graduate with an MLS from IUPUI. Kevin is the Assistant Director of the Cass District Library which is in Cass County Michigan.
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