Jun 4, 2007
Commissioners Kevin Martin (chairman) and Michael Copps aren't happy about today's court action. "I find it hard to believe that the New York court would tell American families that 'shit' and 'fuck' are fine to say on broadcast television during the hours when children are most likely to be in the audience," Martin said in a statement. Copps warned that any broadcaster "who sees this decision as a green light to send more gratuitous sex and violence into our homes would be making a huge mistake."
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 5:35 PM
In potential tide-turning win for broadcasters, a federal appeals court in New York threw out FCC profanity rulings against Fox and ordered the commission to provide better justification for its controversial "fleeting expletives" policy, Broadcasting & Cable reports (PDF of ruling here). The decision was narrow in focus but casts broader doubt on the legal sustainability of the FCC's holding that "fuck," "shit" and their derivatives are presumptively indecent, regardless of context. The commissioners first staked out that position in the 2004 Bono decision, which, coupled with Congress' later ten-fold fine level hike, left broadcasters more skittish than ever about airing edgy content (related story and timeline).
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 5:05 PM