Fox Simply Refuses To Pay Indecency Fine

from the or-there's-that-option... dept

With the Supreme Court already agreeing to review how the FCC determines indecency in a case involving Fox, it appears that Fox has taken a rather aggressive stance concerning a different case where it was fined: it's simply refusing to pay the fine. The FCC originally fined Fox $1.2 million for an episode of "Married by America" that apparently included clips of a stripper with the "naughty bits" pixelated out. After Fox appealed, the fine was reduced to $91,000, covering just the affiliates where complaints were lodged (which seems pretty weak, since reports have shown that indecency complaints are usually sent in by those who didn't even see the show in question, but were alerted to it by lobbying groups that are pushing for more regulation of TV content). Either way, Fox has simply decided not to pay the $91,000, while also asking the FCC to rethink the fine. Somehow, given Kevin Martin's focus on indecency issues, one doubts he'll play along with this. Perhaps Fox is just hoping that it can stall long enough for a new FCC commish to come into power.

Filed Under: fcc, fines, indecency
Companies: fcc, fox


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  • identicon
    Matt, 25 Mar 2008 @ 7:36am

    wooo

    About time that someone started to push for free speech, surprising its such a wacky network but it's a start.

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

    • identicon
      not on my tv, 25 Mar 2008 @ 11:51am

      Re: wooo

      It's a sad commentary on our culture that we equate Fox's prime time airing of a stripper (pixelated or not) with speech protected by the 1st Amendment.

      The founding fathers would be so proud.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2008 @ 7:45am

    I'm sure the FCC has regulations covering this type of situation... I don't know if they get their license revoked or if the fines just go up or something.

    I say throw the book at them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2008 @ 7:45am

    AMEN, 1 FOX FCC 0

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2008 @ 7:47am

    I say use rating and show the whole Monty! Since cable is the same as airwaves, this whole censoring crap is just that!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2008 @ 7:51am

    Even if 75,000 people logged a complaint thats only 0.00025 percent of the US population. Good thing such a miniscule amount is resposibile for such a huge unnecessary burden to the rest of us. However, thats always been the case; so, really why am I complaining?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2008 @ 8:59am

      Re:

      Yes but your "statistic" doesn't take into account those incapable of making a mature decision, those who don't even have a TV and therefore are unlikely to care and those who simply cannot view TV. So you're probably looking a high percentage.

      I think that censorship is a bad idea, but I think that North America should use the watershed system that UK uses (or used?, it's been ten years since I emmigrated!)

      I'm sick of having to check the previews at 5pm for gory/scary/raunchy content when my kids are watching perfectly harmless shows. Before anyone goes off on a "that's the parent's responsibility", I agree. I don't let me kids watch certain shows or channels but when you're getting ads for Las Vegas (tits, coke and fist fights) in the middle of 'Reba', it makes it very hard to regulate.

      So - put in place a system where anything goes, after 9pm. By then most children under the age you'd care about should be tucked up in bed, or you know that now you really have to start paying attention.

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

      • identicon
        EVIL_BASTARD, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:16am

        Your kids watch too much TV

        If it's that much of a burden for you to check out everything they watch. Monitor it yourself and leave the rest of us alone.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re:

        Yes but your "statistic" doesn't take into account those incapable of making a mature decision, those who don't even have a TV and therefore are unlikely to care and those who simply cannot view TV. So you're probably looking a high percentage.

        This is america, if you dont own a TV, we dont care to consider you even exist, therefore we dont even consider you as part of the equation, thus no influence is had upon the resulting outcome.

        The point is no matter how well you calculate the actual percentage of complaints, it will never equate to anything more than 1/1000th (0.001) of the people, and to take special exception to this tiny proportion of the whole is a waste of time, resources, and money.

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

      • identicon
        MIchael, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:44am

        Re: Re:

        So... since your to lazy to watch your own children, everyone should suffer? The answer for people like you is simple. Turn off the television. I have four children, and work full time and I never have a problem making sure they aren't watching violent shows, its easy to do its called a password. When I lock out all but the childrens channels they don't see anything they shouldn't. If there is something they want to watch on another channel, they come to me and ask... its called parenting, and you can't make the tv do it for you.

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

        • identicon
          R. H., 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          He's not complaining about watching his own children, he's talking about the fact that even during shows that he allows his children to watch there are sometimes commercials for shows that he doesn't let them watch. I've seen things like that too. Sometimes I think that some of the commercials need to be rated too.

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

        • identicon
          Haywood, 25 Mar 2008 @ 11:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "its called a password"
          Your kids aren't very creative then. My kids would have hooked up a portable TV with no V chip and watched anyhow.

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

    • identicon
      EVIL_BASTARD, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:12am

      tyranny of the masses

      This is a great example, all the Flandererers out there getting all upset and wasting our money on things most of us are smart enough to deal with ourselves.

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

    • identicon
      Liquid, 25 Mar 2008 @ 10:55am

      Re:

      Remember that episode of family guy. When the FCC sees at least one person complain about something offensive on TV that one person is equal to 1 million people.

      I say fuck the conservatives that think nudity is wrong. What we should be getting rid of is violence in the media just like over in the UK and all of Europe. Just replace that with some good old fashion nudity.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2008 @ 7:53am

    I see full nudal frontity on Nat. Geo. all the time. What's the big deal???

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

  • identicon
    The FCC Itself, 25 Mar 2008 @ 7:55am

    Matt you better watch it, we are on to you

    On a serious note though, WTFuck is up with censorship? I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but the FCC didn't "pork" anyone's mom, so why should they assume the parenting role? Most TV's, if not every single last one of them now-a-days, come with technology to block channels, or even just block programs with TV ratings higher than a set level, example: block all programs with TV-14 and higher, or block Comedy Central... period.

    Why let people in suits say "NO! YOU CAN'T SAY THAT!", or "HEY! BOOBIES ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR A TV SHOW!".

    Censorship is a load of bull. Think about it, if you want to put some "breasts", or some other "innappropriate" content in your show, be prepared to get a higher rating. Let the parents do what they SHOULD be doing, that being parenting.

    |Random|

    PS - Way to go fox, you are my hero.

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

    • identicon
      Parent, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:26am

      Re: Matt you better watch it, we are on to you

      Exactly how many children are you the parent of?

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

    • identicon
      PhilxBefore, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:55am

      Re: Matt you better watch it, we are on to you

      "but the FCC didn't "pork" anyone's mom.."

      Rest assured. The FCC has indeed been screwing everyone of us for a LONG time now..

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

  • identicon
    Wolf, 25 Mar 2008 @ 8:07am

    I doubt that a network, who has it's collective tongue up the administrations' ass, will suffer very much.

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

  • identicon
    ReallyEvilCanine, 25 Mar 2008 @ 8:09am

    I see a problem here

    Perhaps Fox is just hoping that it can stall long enough for a new FCC commish to come into power.

    Something which would only happen if a government change Fox clearly don't want occurs. Cake: having and eating.

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

    • identicon
      Gunnar, 25 Mar 2008 @ 8:18am

      Re: I see a problem here

      Murdoch likes whoever will make him the most money. His news station made a ton of money bashing dems when republicans held the executive and legislative branches. Dems in power = more people watching Bill O'Reilly and his clones whine about it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2008 @ 8:19am

    FOX .. what a joke channel. So what if they show boobs? No one in the right mind should even be watching that channel. Bush for president!!!

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

  • identicon
    You never know, 25 Mar 2008 @ 8:24am

    Yes there is regulations covering this issue and yes there is a medium where this type of entertainment can be legally shown, It’s called Cable TV!. With cable there is some kind of control available to the end user. With broadcast TV there is no control, other than that of the network. And we all know how the competition to see just how far they can bend the rules before some one breaks. I wonder how Fox will hold together without a broadcast licance….

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

  • identicon
    Greg, 25 Mar 2008 @ 8:39am

    I see full nudal frontity on Nat. Geo. all the time. What's the big deal???

    Aside from the fact that Nat Geo is a cable channel, and thus not under the FCC's mandate, there's a bit of a difference between uhh, privative, for lack of a better word, people in their natural environment and dress, and a stripper.

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 25 Mar 2008 @ 8:54am

    FOX

    I think its funny that the US gets all up in arms about breasts (never hurt anyone in the history of man) but its fine to let douchebags like O'Reilly pretend to be journalists... they should pixelate that jerk...

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

  • identicon
    Scott, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:01am

    Huh?

    I see people murdered on TV every night in the most gruesome ways imaginable. These CSI type shows are out of control, but I can't see a boob?

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

    • identicon
      Dick O'Reily, 25 Mar 2008 @ 11:41am

      Re: Huh?

      No, you can still see a boob, just turn on the fox news nutwork. Even though he's sexually harassed his co-workers, boobs like O'Reily are still on the air.

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

  • identicon
    DCX2, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:01am

    Cheering for Fox?

    I think hell has officially frozen over; I'm rooting for the Evil News Network...

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

  • identicon
    Dave Zawislak, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:09am

    Soapboxes vs. Airwaves

    In the US we have the right to free speech from birth, additionally and prohibited by actions of the goverments in the 1st amendment (see enumerated powers). A soapbox speech uses waves in air and has been recognized to be mostly free from regulation, but needs no special devices to receive the sounds. However, in a medium requiring boxes to receive and convert the signals, the FCC seeks to regulate. All the person who might be offended has to do is not watch. There is no right to be entertained.

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

  • identicon
    conspiracy theorist, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:10am

    Bush Toady vs. Bush Ally

    The Toady will lose.
    Fox is the voice of the Neocons. I'm guessing they know that and so they are calling Martin's bluff, because all Fox has to do is pick up the phone to Cheney and the fine will disappear....

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

  • identicon
    The infamous Joe, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:26am

    Scaring and Scarring.

    I've asked before, and never got a response, so I'll ask again:

    What happens to a child once they see a naked part of the human body? Mental Scarring? Insta-rapist? I'm just not getting it. (I am not a parent, however, so I'm just speaking as a person with a question.)

    That's not even taking into account watching gun battles and/or stabbings on Law and Order and/or the local nightly news. Violence doesn't warp in this country, but nudity and sex does?

    It seems to me, again-- not a parent, that either your child is too young to understand what is going on-- rendering the nudity harmless or, in the case where they *do* have some idea what is going on, should immediately be educated to prevent uninformed mistakes. (As opposed to informed mistakes, which will undoubtedly happen in any event short of locking the child in his/her room until they die of old age.)

    I'm rambling. Sorry. I'm seriously seeking an answer though. Preferably from a parent who chooses to isolate versus educate.

    Thanks.

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

    • identicon
      Parent, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:31am

      Re: Scaring and Scarring.

      Become a parent and you will answer you own question.

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

      • identicon
        The infamous Joe, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:41am

        Re: Re: Scaring and Scarring.

        Does that include parents in countries that are far more liberal with nudity-- because, it seems like kicking out a baby has different side effects depending on location.

        Your reply is uninformative, and illogical.

        Try again?

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

        • identicon
          Parent, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Scaring and Scarring.

          Your constant question of "What is the meaning of life?" can only be answered by you and you alone. No amount of informative and logical answers will give you even the slightist morsel of a clue as to the answer.

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

          • identicon
            The infamous Joe, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Scaring and Scarring.

            Ah, I get it, you're a troll.

            Nowhere did I ask the meaning of life-- I asked what happens to a child when exposed to nudity that makes so many parents want the government to prevent it from happening for them.

            Keep trying, though. :)

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

            • identicon
              Parent, 25 Mar 2008 @ 10:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Scaring and Scarring.

              And I answered your question. Become a parent and answer the question for yourself.

              btw - adoption is an option and traditional methods escape you.

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

              • identicon
                DCX2, 25 Mar 2008 @ 10:13am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Scaring and Scarring.

                A parent can no more tell you what happens to their child when they see nudity than anyone else can. Being a parent does not give you special psychic powers to understand what's going on in your child's brain.

                And if neither a parent, nor an individual, can tell you what happens when a child views nudity, then why is the government trying to do so? Your response seems to indicate that parents should do the parenting, using tools like e.g. the V-chip.

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

      • identicon
        Vincent Clement, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:54am

        Re: Re: Scaring and Scarring.

        Well, if you have taught your children to not be ashamed about their body, that babies come from vaginas, or use words like penis and vagina, then nothing will happen.

        If you are one of those parents who tells their children that a stork brought them, make up words for penis and vagina, or tell them to be ashamed of their body, well, then something will happen.

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

    • identicon
      Nasch, 26 Mar 2008 @ 11:42am

      Re: Scaring and Scarring.

      I can only speak for myself, but I'm not worried about my kids seeing nudity on TV. Sex I would be more concerned about - call me backwards but I just don't think a 7-year-old needs to know the details. I'm much more concerned about violence, and I watch shows I'm not sure about first to make sure it's OK. Sometimes it is, and sometimes I have to say no.

      The only time I would have a problem with a show is if suddenly foul language or sex or violence just came on screen as a surprise, and I don't recall that ever happening. Well, sometimes language I'm not totally comfortable with, but if it happens more than once or maybe twice in a show that my kids are watching, I assume it's going to happen again and switch to something else. Generally though, you can tell pretty quickly what kind of a show it's going to be, and shut it off if it's something not appropriate for your children.

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

  • identicon
    Mactabalis, 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:30am

    Dont feel bad for supporting fox......

    ....on this issue, Fox is playing both sides remember? Fox news vs Fox network, O'riely vs Family guy, im sure this is the family guy side of Fox, gaining votes from all the young dems, then O'riely will bash fox for its immoralness and gain the votes of all the old Repubs, then both sides will tell us to buy fish sticks, and Rupert will walk away counting his money from both sides.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward (who actually is named that lol), 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:33am

    bare bottoms... are they "obscene"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward (who actually is named that lol), 25 Mar 2008 @ 9:42am

    bare bottoms... are they "obscene"

    oops... hit enter instead of tab...

    Anyway, think about, NYPD blue, which by no means is considered a show for children or youngins, was fined for showing an absolutely bare buttocks from the rear, no underwear, g-string, nothing. My question to you folks is:

    WHAT ABOUT ALL THE NAKED BABY ASSES IN THE DIAPER COMMERCIALS??

    Are they not fined because it is only a baby, or is it because diapers aren't provacative? Why not just show a bunch of the victoria's secret models naked, I mean, come on, bras aren't necessarily provacative, they are support for women, some of which need it, emphasising on the NEED part. Why would that be frowned upon? hmm?

    FCC = GHEY

    |Random|

    PS - they do make good jokes though (referring to the episode of family guy where they try to sensor real life, including peters chin, which looks like a pair of nuts.)

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

  • identicon
    Cphilo, 25 Mar 2008 @ 11:24am

    Grandma's point of view.

    When my kids were little, I censored for violence, not nudity. I figured that when they grew up, that sex with their partner would probably be a normal part of life, by murder and violence would not be. It worked out. They are now in their 30s, happily married.
    What gets me about this story is the fact that FOX refused to pay the fine. Have we become a nation where lawlessness is the norm? That, to misquote Leona Helmsley "Only the little people pay taxes or obey laws?"

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

  • identicon
    KC, 25 Mar 2008 @ 11:45am

    Bleh

    If your kids are watching that crap (reality show like Married by America) already, then I guess it's ok for them to see "naughty bits".

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

  • identicon
    CVPunk, 25 Mar 2008 @ 11:48am

    I'd like to know if the complaints were from average people or, if it was just the normal bible-thumping, sex through a hole in a sheet fox viewers.

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

  • identicon
    Pro, 25 Mar 2008 @ 12:14pm

    Different times

    When I was a kid my friends and I used to do whatever we could to get a look at some boobies. If we got our hands on a Playboy, it was like gold. We'd stay up late watching scrambled pay stations for hours. Our parents' strategy was to HIDE swears and nudity from us and it wasn't so hard - we really had to go out of our way to find it (for all you kids out there, I don't think video tape existed until I was at least 10)

    These days, adult content is everywhere. You can get it on your computer, you can get it on your TV - you can't even avoid it. How uncomfortable is it to be watching TV with your 9 year old when a commercial comes on talking about sex and 4 hour erections?

    Knowing that we live in a different time, I employ a different strategy. I don't try to hide anything from them. In fact, they've been looking at Kate Winslett nude for a long time from the Titanic movie. Fact is, they don't obsess over it because it's never been taboo. Instead of trying to hide swear words and the like, we instead try to teach them why they shouldn't use them.

    Let's face it, by the time your kids can read and write, if they want to see boobies, they're going to see boobies.

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

  • identicon
    Shawn, 25 Mar 2008 @ 12:52pm

    am I the only one who noticed...

    but the parentesis in that article were never closed.

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

  • identicon
    AC, 25 Mar 2008 @ 2:39pm

    aww

    damnit, i didn't want it to be fox

    :(

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

  • icon
    John (profile), 25 Mar 2008 @ 2:53pm

    Some points

    With broadcast TV there is no control, other than that of the network.

    Poster #13 is absolutely right. Since the mid 1980's, TV's have shipped with no controls to turn the channel or to be turned off. Once you put the TV on FOX, it's stuck there permanently and you, your kids, your grandkids, and everyone you know will be forced (at gunpoint no less!) to watch the show. Since people are unable to turn the TV off (or even turn the channel), the only thing they can do is complain to the government.

    I may be showing my age, but I remember the good old days when people simply turned the TV off when they saw a show they didn't want to watch.

    On a another point, why are people complaining about a naked boobie on a show like "Who wanted to marry my millionaire bachelor dad"? Shouldn't they be complaining about yet another trash TV show? Why do we even need another "series" like this?

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 25 Mar 2008 @ 7:21pm

    Parents: What's going on here???

    Female Guest: Little Bobby was spying on me while I was changing my clothes.

    Parents: You little brat! You won't sit down for a week!

    Female Guest: No, it's ok, I wasn't offended. Being curious about the human body is normal, so I let Bobby look at me.

    Parents: Oh my god! What have you done to our son, you filthy pervert!!! Stay right there while we call the police! Are you ok Bobby? We'll get you into therapy first thing tommorow morning so you can start healing the damage that she's done to you!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2008 @ 5:30am

    showing a baby naked!?!?!? - Should be charged with child-pron

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


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