Anti-Indecency Groups and the Federal Communications Commission

Author: Zarkin, Kimberly
By examining the activities of Morality in Media and the American Family Association as related to the FCC, this research provides a clear picture of whether these groups have had any impact on the policy-making process. It fills an important gap in the understanding of how the FCC has regulated indecent speech on the broadcast spectrum as well as how it has responded to the pressure of interest groups. Despite the popular notion of the dominance of the religious right, this research demonstrates that the groups have not been as successful in pushing their agenda as some think. In addition, this research also gives scholars further insight on how the FCC makes policy in general.


“This information has never before been put together and published in a single document. But there is more, much more in these pages, not the least of which is the information provided on the groups themselves - how and why they formed, their leadership, their aims, their tactics. It is a worthwhile effort and an interesting read.” – Les Smith, University of Florida

“With clear precision and insight, she dissects the campaigns of major anti-Indecency organizations, their strategies to affect change, and the resulting influence on FCC regulations and Congressional inquiry. This book is suitable for media law students and legal scholars alike as Zarkin’s accessible prose breaks down even the most intricate legal interaction into easily understood terms. An excellent analysis, Zarkin’s work is a must read for anyone studying the complex interrelationships among government, public and the broadcast industry.” – Cynthia Cooper, PhD, Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, Salisbury University

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (main headings):
• Preface; Introduction
• Review of the Literature
• Indecency: Historical; Constitutional; Unique Looks at Indecency
• Citizen Groups at the FCC
• Krasnow, Longley, and Terry
• The History of Indecency Regulation
• Early Attempts at Regulation; Defining the Parameters; The Supreme Court Decision and the Aftermath; The April 1987 Trio; The Battle over the Safe Harbor; Fines and Settlement
• Morality in Media and the American Family Association: Broadcast Pornography and Other Concerns
• Research Findings: Evidence of American Family Association and Morality in Media Influence on Indecency Regulation
• Complaint Files; Blocking Renewals and Acquisitions; Lobbying and Ex Parte Communication; Notices of Inquiry and Notices of Proposed Rulemaking; Nomination Hearings; Oversight Hearings
• Analysis and Conclusions
• References; Document Reference List; Index