The Daily Stern
: Action on the Senate indecent “decency” bill could come as soon as tomorrow (conveniently, while Stern is on vaca):
If Senator Sam Brownback gets his way, the Senate could be voting on anti-indecency legislation as early as tomorrow. To fast-track a vote, Brownback and other supporters of his Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 are lobbying to get the bill placed on the Senate’s unanimous consent calendar.
However AFTRA and the Creative Coalition are mobilizing efforts to delay a vote. According to The Hollywood Reporter, AFTRA is attempting to persuade at least one senator to object to putting S. 2056 on the consent calendar. That would likely delay a vote until after the Senate’s April 12-16 recess.
AFTRA and the Creative Coalition’s biggest objection is a section of the bill that would impose $500,000 fines against performers found to have made indecent remarks on the air. Calling those penalties “both excessive and misdirected,” AFTRA forwarded nearly 1,500 signatures and letters to Senate members last week protesting the legislation. Other groups in the creative community also oppose the bill, including the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Musicians, and the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers.
There are other provisions in S.0256 that could raise objections, like an amendment that would freeze the FCC’s revised ownership rules for one year, and a section that would place violent programming under the same regulatory auspices as indecency. However, Brownback is working on a compromise that would remove some of the more objectionable provisions.