Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Court Overturns FCC Language Decency Policy -- Fuckin' A!


WSJ Online Update:

WSJ UPDATE: Court Again Backs Broadcasters In Indecency Case
(Updates with background, details and context, starting in fourth paragraph.)


WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--A federal appeals court struck down the Federal Communications Commissions' indecency policy Tuesday, saying the agency's efforts to restrict the use of vulgar language on air were "unconstitutionally vague."

The decision was a major win for Fox Television, NBC Universal and other broadcasters who have complained that an FCC crackdown on fleeting obscenities was unfair and violated their First Amendment rights.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, saying the FCC's indecency policies were "unconstitutionally vague, creating a chilling effect that goes far beyond the fleeting expletives at issue here."

The 32-page ruling was laced with many of the words FCC policy said broadcasters could not allow to be spoken on air. It sets up the possibility that the Supreme Court could be asked to revisit rulings that have formed the basis for government curbs on "indecent" broadcast speech, including a 1978 decision that allowed the FCC to fine the Pacifica Foundation for broadcasting a monologue on dirty words by the late comedian George Carlin.


(Emphasis mine.)

It isn't often I find myself on the same side of a public issue as Fox Network, but the Bush FCC (and later Obama's FCC) has made it possible. The notion that networks should be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for each fleeting occurrence of arbitrarily designated indecent language is, and has been since the late, great George Carlin raised the issue in the Seventies, itself obscene.

GeeDubya Bush's FCC chair Kevin Martin (may he roast in Hell, preferably before he's dead) used the power inherent in over $150 million in fines to attempt to control the social and political content of networks he didn't like. No government should ever have that kind of power over the only broadcast system we've got. And fuck anyone who says otherwise!

No comments:

Post a Comment


• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes