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."


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 11:26pm

    On another FCC indecenty fine...

    ..who is responsible for allowing Stephen Colbert to be alone with the bottle of Jamison before tonights taping?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 3:33am

    Not likely

    I doubt that the Supreme Court that we have these days will rule against the FCC. A rubber stamp is more likely.

     

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  3.  
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    Alimas, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 5:03am

    Can only Hope...

    ...the Supreme Court kicks their asses.

    There really shouldn't be a division of government trying to protect its citizens from their own culture.
    Even if it does fail miserably at it.

     

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  4.  
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    Jared, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 5:51am

    A different point of view

    I personally don't have a huge problem with fleeting expletives on tv. I don't think it's necessary to include expletives in things to make them funny or realistic or anything else, but as long is it's infrequent, i don't have a big issue with it. On the other hand, i DO have a problem with the rather gratuitous sexually related content everywhere. I don't think it's at all difficult to link the "sex sells" mindset and therefore the readily available sexual ads, sex scenes in tv shows and movies, and general bombardment with sexuality, to a large part of the decline of society. I think some things should be a little more controlled. On readily available mediums such as over the air tv or even basic cable or dish systems things need to be more family friendly and make the more "adult" oriented things available in an additional tier of programming.

     

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  5.  
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    Anon, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 7:07am

    Re: A different point of view

    You believe that the "sex sells" mindest is leading to the decline of society? You realize that the U.S. television industry is extremely tame compared to what is on TV in Europe, right? So you're saying that society is declining on a global scale in large part due to the "sex sells" mindset.

    I'd argue that the places where society is declining the most (Iraq, Iran, Sudan, etc.) are the places that have the tightest control over their television airwaves and have probably little to no "sex sells" advertising.

    Just my two cents, but I think the real cause of any decline in society is the seeming inability for individuals to take responsibility for their own actions and/or decisions.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 7:30am

    RE: A different point of view by Jared

    "i DO have a problem with the rather gratuitous sexually related content everywhere. I don't think it's at all difficult to link the "sex sells" mindset and therefore the readily available sexual ads, sex scenes in tv shows and movies, and general bombardment with sexuality, to a large part of the decline of society. I think some things should be a little more controlled. On readily available mediums such as over the air tv or even basic cable or dish systems things need to be more family friendly and make the more "adult" oriented things available in an additional tier of programming."

    Screw that!
    I'd prefer that Nick and Disney channels are NOT included in my Basic cable package! I actually find the programming on those 2 channels OFFENDING to my intelligence!!!
    I'd prefer there be a family tier that you have to choose if you don't want the other programming when it comes to cable.
    I like shows that are somewhat based on reality. Come on, people use expletives in every day life, why can't I have those occassional expletives in a fictional TV show I watch, that is based on every day life?

    I don't mind seeing the sexual content. I'm not a prude, it doesn't offend me in the least. In fact I don't even think twice about seeing it, as I see it when I go out my front door in the summer, or to the beach.

    There should be a special Tier of programming for prudes like Jared, and people who have children, it shouldn't be forced on average Americans, nor should it be forced on the average American to pay more for realistic programming.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 8:53am

    Re: A different point of view

    I don't think it's necessary to include expletives in things to make them funny or realistic or anything else, but as long is it's infrequent, i don't have a big issue with it.

    I know what you mean: I think penises are funny. As long as it's infrequent, I think they should be shown on TV. Say no more than once an hour or so.

     

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  8.  
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    Jake, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 11:24am

    Re: A different point of view

    I can see points on both sides here. I agree that dropping the F-Bomb on TV is no longer even slightly amusing in itself -or at least rather less amusing than the outraged reactions of the middle classes- but I'm not stupid enough to think my kids won't learn them whatever I do. I certainly don't think anyone should be handed huge fines just because the guy who operates the curse-bleeper got finger cramp during an interview with Bob Geldof or whatever.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 7:11pm

    When are Americans going to use their "power of the people" to rid America of agencies like the FCC, which have *no* accountability to the American citizen? Regulatory agencies would be great if the citizenry voted to create them. For a democratic government of the people, we have a lot of agencies that we, the people, have no control over.

     

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  10.  
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    FWIW, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 7:38pm

    Re: RE: A different point of view by Jared

    There should be a special Tier of programming for prudes like Jared, and people who have children, it shouldn't be forced on average Americans, nor should it be forced on the average American to pay more for realistic programming.
    What exactly in your challenged little mind constitutes an average American? So you think that most television is geared towards porn loving people like you? Get a life! Personally I don't care what your preferences are. There are people who have the very real responsibility of raising children (unlike you).
    Perhaps you don't think that's important?

    Since YOUR opinion differs you go off and start calling people names.

    Grow up Coward!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 10:11pm

    Please. You aren't 'raising children'. You are having the television do it for you. REAL parents monitor what their children watch, screening their programs, and teaching them what is right and what is wrong. It's obvious you aren't a real parent.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Cixelsid, Mar 19th, 2008 @ 3:42am

    Re: A not particularly original point of view

    "I don't think it's at all difficult to link the "sex sells" mindset and therefore the readily available sexual ads, sex scenes in tv shows and movies, and general bombardment with sexuality, to a large part of the decline of society."

    Yeah, I think we all silently wish for the Temple Whores of yesteryear back when society meant something (and prayer something wholly different).

    Seriously though, I submit that the only decline in society is due to those individuals (like yourself) who are threatened by sex.

    If you see something you don't like - turn your countenance, fool.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 8:19pm

    Re:

    Please. You aren't 'raising children'. You are having the television do it for you. REAL parents monitor what their children watch, screening their programs, and teaching them what is right and what is wrong. It's obvious you aren't a real parent.

    It gets better. You should read some of the stuff FWIW has been spouting off over in this thread.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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