L. Neil Smith's
Number 366, May 7, 2006

"The Lamestream Media"

An Open Letter to the FCC
by Jonathan David Morris

Special to TLE

Author's Note: I recently sent the following letter to the FCC. At the time of publication, they hadn't responded—much less given a redress of grievances—yet.

Dear Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission,

I must say as an American my entire life I am stunned by what this country has come to. I have just about had it with the "sexually" suggestive commentary coming out of my television this morning and would like to file a formal complaint with the Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission in hopes that you will rectify the situation and consider further safeguards to prevent the kind of "sexually" suggestive commentary I heard coming out my television set this morning in future network broadcasts such as the one I was subjected to this morning which I was thoroughly appalled by on network TV.

At roughly 7:02 AM EST this morning I was minding my own business and tying my shoes when, suddenly, I was subjected to what I could only describe as a sneak attack on a captive audience member by NBC news personality Brian William during a "segment" on today's "The Today Show" (Fri., April 28, 2006). Mr. William was filing a report from the site of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, where he was filing a report on the rebuilding of homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Things started off innocently enough, as they always do, but just when I allowed myself to become engrossed by this heart-rendering story Mr. William decided he would see if he could slip something by the American people and FCC decency standards by referring, and I quote, to the "erecting" of new homes.


Let me ask you something, Commissioners: Is such language honestly necessary at 7:02 AM EST? Are there no other words in the English language, that Mr. William must stoop to "erecting" in front of millions of television viewers?

First, Janet Jackson's "nipple." Now this.

Where does it end?

We are all adults here. We are all well aware of what it means to "erect," and we are all comfortable with "erecting" in the company of fellow adults—as long as it's within reason. But this is a word, as I'm sure you'll agree, which could easily be construed as something much different; indeed, something "sexual." And that being the case, I am just shocked by Mr. William's distasteful decision. Moreover, I am disgusted by the idea that he would get away with "erecting" under the cover of this thing we call "news."

I do not have children, but I ask you: What if I did? And what of the many men such as myself in this country who do? Our children don't know what it means to "erect" something. They don't know the difference between an "erection" and an "erection." Should men like me be forced to explain "erecting" to our children as they wait for their school bus? Should we be forced to explain why it's unnatural to talk about "erecting" when they get to school that day? I don't have time to explain such "erections" at 7:02 AM EST. Nor, to be frank, would I be comfortable with explaining such "erections" at such an hour of the day even if I had time at such an hour of the day to explain them.

Surely Mr. William knows this about me and his many millions of captive "The Today Show" viewers. Does he take us—tax-paying, law-abiding United States citizens—for fools? Does he think we will think nothing of his "erecting" on national television in the morning? Well, if America is a free country, then I would like to assure him: As an American my entire life, I most certainly will not.

Finally, to make matters worse, Mr. William's segment about the rebuilding of homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina quickly somehow transitioned into a segment grilling our commander-in-chief, President George W. Bush, who was in New Orleans lending a personal hand in the rebuilding of devastated homes. The NBC television network has already made its agenda clear to me with such programming as "Cheers," "Will & Grace," and "The Book of Daniel," as well as its insistence on using a mascot named, if you'll excuse me, "the NBC peacock." But Mr. William's willful use of the aforementioned "e" word in a segment about a national tragedy and President Bush brings NBC's lack of shame to a whole new level. Clearly, NBC stands for "Never Before-seen levels of out-and-out Classlessness in front of me and the president and millions of innocent American children."

During his segment this morning, Mr. William also took the opportunity to infer that President Bush's approval numbers were "low" (not a direct quote), and then asked the President about his thoughts on a partisan Senate report calling for the deconstruction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Have the people of New Orleans not been through enough, that they need Mr. William's ill-timed questions of the President as he attempts to help them rebuild (or as Mr. William would call it, "re-erect") their devastated community?

Between this and the release of a movie about United Flight 93 a mere four years and seven months after the attacks of September 11th, I am frankly, Commissioners, appalled.

I do not know how much longer these subtle sneak attacks on the American people must continue before someone finally stands up and does something about them. But I am writing this letter to you in hopes that it will be the first important step towards desperately needed change. I will never watch a single airing of NBC's "The Today Show" in which men like Mr. Brian William use words like "erecting" again. If it were up to me, this show would be taken off the air, as, in my estimation, it has already done enough damage to the Republic for which I stand up straight each morning. We have already suffered through one Hurricane Katrina, and we do not need this "storm" of inappropriateness on the part of Mr. William or his NBC colleagues.

I am willing to help. Please advise.

Thank you for your time.

Very sincerely,
Jonathan David Morris
(A concerned American television viewer)

Jonathan David Morris writes from Philadelphia. He can be reached at jdm@readjdm.com.


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