TV viewers weary of nudity and obscenity look for decency from FCC nominee

The future of long-standing government bans on obscenity and nudity on the airwaves soon could become much clearer as President Obama’s pick to head the Federal Communications Commission faces a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday – one day before the public comment period on the policy ends.

Groups battling indecent content on television are urging members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to press FCC nominee Tom Wheeler about his views on decency standards.

They also are calling for supporters to denounce an FCC proposal to pursue only “egregious” decency violations, saying that change would open the floodgates for partial nudity and rampant profanity during prime time.

“If you think TV is bad now, just wait until the FCC all but sanctions nudity and profanity, permitting both as long as they are ‘isolated,’ whatever that means,” Patrick A. Trueman, president and chief executive of Morality in Media, said in a recent email to supporters.