Supreme Court Agrees To Review FCC's Indecency Fines
from the fleeting-expletive-indeed dept
Since Kevin Martin took over the FCC, one area where he's been especially active is in trying to get "indecent" material off television. However, so far, things haven't gone all that well. A recent fine only got the content in question much more attention, and there are serious questions about just how offended people really are by what the FCC calls indecent. Most of the complaints to the FCC seem to be generated by form letter campaigns, pushed by people who never actually saw the content in question (or only saw it afterwards on the web). Last summer, an appeals court smacked down some FCC fines after it pointed out that the FCC seemed rather "arbitrary and capricious" in doling out fines for "fleeting expletives." Since there seemed to be no actual rules on what the FCC considered indecent, the court found it difficult to see how the fines were constitutional. Not surprisingly, the ruling was appealed and the Supreme Court will now take up the issue in a case that could have a major impact on the FCC's ability to fine networks for broadcasting "fleeting expletives."