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Tate Promotes Positive Programming Alliance

Just think of it as the Tennessee Values Authority.

Republican FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate wants to work with fellow Tennessean/Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to promote pro-social TV and help better-arm "modern day David[s] trying to influence the Goliath of inappropriate content," saying "that's where the government--and indecency laws--can play a role."

That call for an alliance came in a letter to Frist Tuesday praising him for fast-tracking an indecency bill that ups the FCC fines by 10 times, to $325,000. "In the coming weeks, I hope that we can work together to address these important issues and to be a voice for families," she told Frist.

Tate said that indecency legislation was just "one step" and that there is "so much more we can do."

Tate did not talk specifics but told Frist she hoped he would "consider other, positive measures that will encourage the production and broadcast of quality children's programming as well."

While she said that families are the first line of defense against course content, she also said that, as parents, "we can't be everywhere at once" and suggested TV needed to help in that parenting function, a suggestion supported by a study last week that found that the majority of parents use TV to help them mind the kids.

"Even the most vigilant parent would never have been prepared for the now infamous 'wardrobe malfunction' that capped off the sexually suggestive halftime show at the 2004 Super Bowl," she opined.

She also cited a Nashville, Tenn., station's preempting of NBC's controversial Book of Daniel for a Children's Hospital special, saying it was "a great example of broadcasters responding in a positive way to the interests of their local communities."