Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Fuck the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission's censorious scheme to penalize TV and radio stations for unplanned curses uttered during live broadcasts took a (hopefully) fatal hit yesterday.

An appeals court said a new federal policy against accidentally aired profanities on TV and radio was invalid, noting that vulgar language had become so common that even President Bush has been heard using expletives.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday in favor of a Fox Television-led challenge to the policy and returned the case to the Federal Communications Commission to let the agency try to explain how its policy was not "arbitrary and capricious." The court said it doubted the FCC could.

The appeals court went a step further, calling the FCC policy "divorced from reality" and pointing out that even President Bush has been caught using salty language.

In a response (PDF file) laced with more profanity than even the most risque Fox television show, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin replied:

I completely disagree with the Court’s ruling and am disappointed for American families. 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.

Kind of proving the court's point, don't you think?

Martin petulantly vows to find a way to enforce the FCC's indecency regulations--suggesting that Congress mandate that cable companies be forced to offer channels on an a la carte basis so that families can avoid the inevitable cooties that comes from having access to a wide variety of channels.

This is an especially curious response. The court ruling applies to broadcast programming that uses the allegedly "public" airwaves, while mandated a la carte programming would apply to cable and satellite companies that don't use the airwaves at all, and so are, at least theoretically, immune to FCC regulation of their content.

It looks to me like Martin wants to use a free speech decision that went against the FCC as a lever to extend his agency's reach to media that have, until now, enjoyed more extensive First Amendment protection than the broadcast networks.

I take that as a great argument in favor of completely abolishing the FCC and letting electronic media enjoy the same free speech protections as print.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand u damn fcc. all u do is cut out every fucken thing in TV. (I said a bad word. U gona kill me now?) I agree that kids should not be exposed to certain things. I agree 100%. I can't think of a reason right now of why I hate u because I do. but just know that there a alot of angry paople out there that can't stand ur retarted ideas.

August 26, 2008 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FCC really needs to get their heads out of their asses. I mean really, removing all the "curse" words from tv means that when children finally do hear them, they are now empowered. The children are then 50 times more likely to say them over and over again. Taking the power away from words like "shit, fuck and balls" means that children will be much less fascinated with them - when they finally hear them... I got an idea. Let's get together and BAN the FCC! BAN THE FCC!!!! BAN THE FCC!!! They ruin culture, and bend reality!

November 22, 2008 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fu*k the FCC TV is bad when im watching a show that takes the word shit out and replace's it with food or something dumb. they have killed TV that i pay over 100$ a month to watch..USA,TNT,TBS and so on...so FU*K you FCC

November 23, 2008 6:00 PM  

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