Anti-indecency Group Under Fire
The Parents Television Council, which for years has spearheaded protests against allegedly indecent television programming, has found itself, in the words of the New York Times , "damaged, defanged by court challenges to the FCC's hard-line position, by its own dwindling finances and by internal troubles that resulted in its accusing a former senior employee of extortion." Although PTC President Tim Winter acknowledged in an interview with the Times that the economic "downturn had a huge impact," he insisted, "we've turned a corner." Nevertheless, the organization's financial troubles have, according to the newspaper, impinged on its petition campaigns to the FCC. Citing internal documents, the Times reported that "at least for a period of some months, the council was opening tens of thousands of envelopes, looking for money, and skipping" forwarding the petitions to the FCC. Former PTC vice president Patrick W. Salazar, who has been accused by the group of trying to extort money from it, wrote that "almost 195,000 pieces of donor/member mail was never sent to the intended recipient" (presumably, the FCC).