What the networks and, apparently, some Commissioners at the FCC, would have us forget is that we, the public, own those airwaves over which they broadcast. More: The networks are obligated -- not encouraged, mind you, obligated -- to uphold some shred of decency in programming by fining broadcasters who have no standards but making a buck.
These networks have simply ignored the public's standards of decency. And the same holds true for the FCC. In its entire history the FCC has not once fined a TV station for airing indecency. Apparently it can't stretch its $278,000,000 annual budget far enough to watch what's on television.
In a real sense it is the height of irony that these networks that have consistently abused the public trust would come forward and demand even more control of the public airwaves. It is the height of outrage that the FCC would side with them.
"Keen Eddie" is a new offering from the FOX entertainment network. It airs at 9 p.m. East Coast time, meaning that in the Central and Mountain Time zones it airs at 8 p.m.
Just after the "family hour" show "American Juniors" in June, "Keen Eddie" featured a storyline wherein a band of thugs trafficking in horse semen hires a prostitute to have sex with a horse in order to extract its semen. The script matches the plot, as when the prostitute objects and is told, "You're a 40-year-old filthy slut; you'll do anything."
There is not a corner of America, not even in the 90210 area code, where this sewage conforms to community standards of decency. So why did stations air it? Responding to outraged viewer sentiment in its community, Kansas City FOX affiliate WDAF responded thusly: "We forwarded your letter to the FOX network. The network, not WDAF-TV4, decides what shows go on the air for the FOX Owned and Operated Television Stations."
So why did the FOX network air this garbage? Because it has nothing but contempt for community standards. And why is it so emboldened in its contempt? Because, apparently, the view is shared by FCC Chairman Michael Powell, who has had nothing, nothing at all, to say about it. What's so indecent about having children watch hookers have sex with horses?