This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," November 10, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: A new study shows that the number of sex scenes on TV has almost doubled in the past seven years. So what about that crack down by the feds? Let's ask Alisyn Camerota.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John. Well, if you think you have been seeing more sex on TV lately no need to adjust your dial, you're right. Researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation studied 1100 shows on regular broadcast TV as well as basic cable and HBO. They found 3,800 sex scenes in the space of just one week. That is twice the number of sex scenes we watched back in 1998. And many viewers are not happy. More and more are filing complaints with the FCC.
Joining us now to discuss this is pop culture guru and FOX News political analyst, Ellis Henican, and Dagen McDowell who we'll be getting to in a moment.
ELLIS HENICAN, NEWSDAY COLUMNIST: I like that. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: You're welcome.
So, Ellis, I know what you are going to say, "If people don't like it, they don't have to watch it." But you know what, it's not that easy when eight out of 10 shows have some sexual content.
HENICAN: Oh, gosh, Alisyn. This is such an old millennium argument. Technology is making it moot. You don't want your kids watching "Desperate Housewives," use the clicker, fire up the V-chip. There's a whole lot of channels out there. And there is absolutely no reason any American ought to have their kids watching something that they don't want them to watch.
CAMEROTA: But Ellis, 77 percent of all shows have some sexual content. Even the History Channel is doing the history of sex. And, you know, further more, I mean, kids don't want to watch C-SPAN all day long, so they are going to get an eyeful whenever they turn on the TV.
HENICAN: Well, you have to be careful about the definitions here, Alisyn. In fact, I think our segment is going to qualify. Any time there is so much as a peck on the cheek, it seems the Kaiser people are calling it a sex scene. But again, why don't we just let the market decide? If people didn't want these shows, they wouldn't be on television. If people don't want to watch them, deal with it at home. Why do we want a bunch of interest groups or a bunch of federal regulators involved in our family life? I think that's a very bad idea.
CAMEROTA: But Ellis, why is the FCC getting more and more obscenity complaints? Clearly there's a disconnect between TV programmers and viewers.
HANICAN: Because there are some very fired up interest groups out there, Alisyn, that want to decide what you, me and the people we know and love get to watch on television. They are deluging the FCC with these Internet complaints. And yeah, they add up to a lot of numbers, but it's still 99 percent of Americans never complain to the FCC about anything, maybe we should listen to them.
CAMEROTA: Hey Dagen, we were just watching some of the "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show." I know you went to that last night. Now, that is the same show that the FCC, I think, cracked down on a couple of years ago. But this year, it's back on CBS. So what's different? It doesn't look less provocative.
DAGEN MCDOWELL, FOX NEWS SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's actually no different. You are going to see the same amount of skin. But CBS and Victoria's Secret clearly know what they are doing. They skipped last year. And one of the reasons they didn't put the show on last year, they said, was the indecency crackdown after the wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl in early 2004. But they are careful about how they edit this. They think that it's clearly valuable in drawing business into the stores.
And, by the way, the FCC did look into complaints when this show was on ABC in 2001. They did not find it offensive. Now the show in 2002 on CBS was included in a broad settlement, about $3.5 million that Viacom did pay. That was about a year ago. But that show might not have been fined, so clearly Victoria's Secret, CBS taking a lot of chance. It's going to be a lot of skin. I saw it, lots of skin.
CAMEROTA: It sure looks like it.
OK, Dagen McDowell, Ellis Henican, thank you.
And I guess, John, if it weren't profitable, it wouldn't be on the air.
GIBSON: Yeah. Well, we just saw it on the air. So, I guess it was a good thing to do. Alisyn Camerota, thank you.
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