To: ALL F.C.C. STAFF
From: [name redacted]
Re: DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NEW DECENCY GUIDELINES
As you know, Penny Nance will be joining us here in the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis. She’ll be a paid adviser to us as we rethink the regulation of the broadcast, cable and satellite industries. Penny is a self-described Christian conservative who founded the anti-pornography Kids First Coalition, and was formerly a lobbyist for and board member of Concerned Women for America (CWA), which has fought against feminism and gay rights legislation, as well as speaking out against un-Christian elements in Harry Potter and Walt Disney Co.’s The Lion King (which, as CWA notes, includes gay characters Timon and Pumbaa.) In advance of Penny’s start date, I thought it would be helpful if we all engaged in brainstorming along those lines as we work to reshape our decency guidelines with her input. Consider this to be “blue-sky thinking” to get the discussion going in anticipation of Penny’s arrival.
We’re in preliminary discussions with ABC to ensure that the cast of Lost will be found by adopting a prayerful attitude and accepting God into their hearts.
While we’ve largely eliminated the chance of “accidental” use of foul language through massive fines that have encouraged broadcasters to initiate 5-second delay technology, plenty of inappropriate language still makes it on TV and radio every day, on purpose -- including the D-word, even though alternatives such as “Gee Golly Gosh Darn” would work just as well. Our long-range goal is a five-week delay that would allow us to collaborate more fully with producers to ensure more family-friendly language.
SEXUALITY IN MARKETING
Blatant sexuality in advertising is, of course, at epidemic levels, but we are equally concerned about more subtle messages, such as the one in a current American Express ad featuring well-known homosexual Ellen DeGeneres dancing raucously and in a self-satisfied and sexually-suggestive manner. Forward-going, we’d like to work with marketers to achieve more balanced messages -- including the fact that many progressive congregations now accept the American Express card for donations, and that homosexuals such as DeGeneres can be set on a righteous path through counseling and prayer.
Regarding “science” programming, we’d like to find ways to encourage more balanced representations of the diversity of opinions surrounding today’s scientific discourse. Though we may not be able to directly counter such programming as the Discovery Channel’s numerous dinosaur “documentaries,” which advance evolutionary propaganda, we would like to look into working with more open-minded programmers to present, for instance, Intelligent Design Week.
As you know, the sitcom Will & Grace has been at the forefront of advancing the homosexual agenda. The good news is that the show is entering its final season, and we’ve entered into discussions with NBC (vis-à-vis the renewal of its broadcast license) to ensure that “Will” can truly find “Grace” through prayer, the renunciation of sodomy, and by opening his heart to the possibility of salvation.
We’re concerned about recent attempts to popularize soccer in the U.S. Soccer is, by definition, un-American, and is problematic because of the excessively short shorts its players wear, which aid and abet full skin-on-skin contact between players. (Male European soccer players have been known to actually hug and kiss in front of audiences that include young children.) If soccer continues its inroads into U.S. sports programming, we’d like to explore bringing soccer uniforms up to the decency standards of more fully clothed American sports such as baseball and football.
Consider the above thoughts to be just a start. By next Friday, I’d like each of you to submit half a dozen additional proposals for Penny’s review. Oh, a few other quick things: MTV? Canceled effective immediately. And Paris Hilton and Calvin Klein, as per our new aim of applying biblical principles to public policy (the stated aim of CWA, incidentally), will be stoned to death on a new “reality TV” series. (Thanks again to Dave and Becky for spearheading the negotiations with the upcoming Fox Reality Channel.)
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The Media Guy's column appears weekly on AdAge.com and in the print edition of Advertising Age. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org