I received this response to yesterday’s e-mail. To his credit, he gave some thought to what I said and addressed the issues rather than offering “political speak” as to why he’s right and I should be thankful that he’s fighting to protect me from the world’s evil-doers. Here’s the e-mail:
I apologize for the mistake in responding to your previous e-mail.
I agree with your assessment that attempting to ban specific words could run into significant First Amendment issues. As you know, it has always been difficult to define obscenity and indecency, a fact illustrated by the FCC Enforcement Board’s October decision on Bono’s use of the F-word. Another historical example is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous claim that while he could not describe obscenity, he would know it when he saw it.
I think the move to significantly increase fines for the broadcast of indecent material, as well as the public backlash against the Superbowl halftime show, and to a lesser extent Bono’s acceptance speech, will make networks reconsider whether pushing the envelope on decency standards is really in their best interests. That is why I chose to highlight some of the legislative developments with regard to these efforts in my previous email.
Regarding your specific oposition to H.R. 3687, I am not a cosponsor and do not foresee it coming before the House. I do, however, think there will be further reviews of the FCC’s oversight of decency standards in the appropriate committees of jurisdiction.
Again, I apologize for not closely reading your E-mail. Your anger is justifiable, however, I hope my past and future representation of you would give you pause to reconsider your opposition to my future service.
Member of Congress
As ridiculous as this situation got, it’s a reminder that this is a great country. I can deal directly with my elected government officials and not fear retribution. I highly recommend such an experience to everyone.