The U.S. Senate passed The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act by unanimous consent. The measure increases the current broadcast indecency fines from $32,500 to $325,000. The bill was sponsored by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and shepherded through the Senate by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN).
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins applauded the passage of the bill. The earlier fines were so low that media giants viewed them as “an irrelevant cost of doing business.”
The new act, he said, keeps the fines relevant to networks’ bottom-line and says to broadcasters and performers that “Americans expect decency on the public airwaves.”
Perkins noted that “had this bill been the law at the time of Janet Jackson's overexposure at Super Bowl 2004, fines would have totaled $5,500,000.”
“The networks will quickly realize that higher fines make indecency on TV cost prohibitive,” he said.