TV Council Targets Racy Programming

One person's edgy entertainment is another person's sleazy programming.

The television show, "Desperate Housewives," which airs on Sunday evenings during ABC's primetime hours, is an example. The show is considered a ratings hit, but other programs like it are under the microscope for in-your-face sexuality and overall content.

The Parents Television Council is worried about children watching the show and imitating what they see. The group, which claims to be a nonpartisan advocacy organization, puts pressure on the television networks and even the Federal Communications Commission (search) to enforce what they consider standards of decency.

"In the case of the Parents Television Council, a million parents came together and they have announced very loudly and very clearly to the world, to the FCC, that these airwaves belong to the public — to these parents. They don't belong to the networks," said council President Brent Bozell.

Some shows considered questionable by the council are on premium cable channels but the group says it has succeeded in having shows it finds outrageous taken off even those airwaves.

According to the FCC, indecent programming contains language including the "F-word" or material that depicts or describes (in terms patently offensive) sexual or excretory organs or activities. Some argue the decision to label shows "indecent" or "obscene" compromises free speech (search).

But critics of the council say when you force a show off the air, punish the programmers, or force them to remove certain words, you're disenfranchising one part of the population to satisfy another.

"It doesn't sit well with the First Amendment to have the government sitting there as a referee saying, that's a hit, that's a miss," said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. "That's a dangerous thing when you have strong faith in free speech."

Click on the video box above for the complete story by FOX News' Mike Emanuel.