This is my weekly print column that’s set to run on Monday:
The Parents Television Council, a non-profit watchdog group, sometimes comes off as a humorless schoolmarm wagging its finger in the face of racy TV programming. But when it latches onto a topic that resonates with the public, it can be quite effective.
Its members flooded the Federal Communications Commission with complaints over the Janet Jackson Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004. The FCC fined CBS $550,000. Though the case remains on appeal, the effect was palpable as radio and TV placed delay buttons on live events and scaled back crude content.
Since then, as the economy cratered, the PTC’s influence waned. TV has been pushing the boundaries of taste again. PTC efforts last year to get CBS to change the title of “[Bleep] My Dad Says” failed. Last fall, the New York Times highlighted the group’s dwindling finances and internal strife.
But last month, the PTC found