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TV Watch Takes Issue with PTC Profanity Study

CHARLESTON, S.C.: The executive director of a coalition opposing government interference in TV content blasted a profanity study from the Parents Television Council. The PTC said yesterday it had found a 69 percent increase in broadcast prime time during the first two weeks of the fall season. Jim Dyke of the group TV Watch called the study into question.

“With the release of their latest study, the PTC raises new questions about the credibility of their efforts. In a recent New York Times story ‘TV Watchdog Group Is On Defensive,’ serious questions about PTC operations surfaced. Following the story, former Vice President of Development Patrick Salazar said, ‘PTC education programs, with the stated intent of serving the public, were actually hollow fundraising schemes.’ Salazar also suggested the organization inflated its membership numbers to ‘mislead donors, regulators and legislators all in an effort to increase the PTC's relevance and cash flow.’

“Given all of this, it’s not surprising that a review of the supporting documentation for the study calls in to serious question both its methodology and findings.

“It’s also worth pointing out that a few months ago, the PTC applauded ABC for taking steps (bleeping) to ‘ensure that the past several games of the NBA finals were appropriate for children and families. PTC President Tim Winter continued, ‘While there were a few instances of unbleeped profanity in the first game, ABC appeared to take immediate measures to improve...’ But... the PTC released a study encouraging increased regulation because of an increase in bleeped content based on whatever statistical model they have created.

“All of this confirms the TV Watch position that in the third of households with children, parents should make the decisions about children’s viewing and enforce those decisions with available technology if they choose as all others are suspect.”

Members of TV Watch, launched in 2005, include the American Conservative Union, The Creative Coalition, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, The Media Institute, NBC Universal, Fox parent News Corp., Viacom, Linda Gale White, former first lady of Texas, and 19 other organizations and individuals. Dyke, its executive director, was formerly the communications director for the Republican National Committee.
-- Deborah D. McAdams