The Parents Television Council responds to FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s comments on KidVid laws.
Speaking at the Media Institute’s Free Speech America gala in Washington D.C., FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly stated that provisions requiring broadcast television programming for children may be unconstitutional, as reported by Broadcasting & Cable. The PTC responds:
“In our formal Reply Comment, we called for the KidVid NPRM process to cease; and for the FCC instead to ‘engage in a more thorough, deliberative, comprehensive and strategic review process, including public hearings.’ In light of the constitutional concerns publicly expressed last night by Commissioner O’Rielly, the FCC has no choice but to do exactly what we have called for,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“If the underlying statute – the Children’s Television Act of 1990 – is unconstitutional, then any effort to tweak it, or any effort to tweak existing FCC rules that are based upon it, through this NPRM process is a complete and utter waste of time, not to mention a waste of taxpayer dollars. Debating rule modifications for an unconstitutional statute makes as much sense as debating the arrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic.
“We believe that the terms of CTA are reasonable contractual consideration for FCC licensees to use the public airwaves. We believe the statute would pass constitutional muster. But if it won’t, then broadcast licensees should file suit and allow our judiciary system to render a decision. Either way, any consideration of KidVid rule changes demands a regulatory review process that exceeds the scope of this NPRM.”