Supreme Court May Re-examine What Is "Indecent"
March 3, 2008

This week, after more than 30 years, the Supreme Court may reopen the debate over what constitutes an "indecent" broadcast. The issue before the court is the usually accidental, so-called "fleeting expletive" that sneaks into an over-the-air broadcast, such as Bono's "This is really, really f---ing brilliant" comment at the 2003 Golden Globes, which was broadcast on NBC.

After receiving complaints from viewers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved to crack down on broadcasters who air "isolated or fleeting expletives" during daytime and early evening hours. Last year, Fox and other television networks sued to block the new policy, and an appeals court in New York put it on hold.
Now, the FCC is asking the Supreme court to clear the way for the crackdown to be enforced. The justices may act on the agency's appeal as soon as today, and if they vote to hear FCC vs. Fox TV, arguments will be heard in the fall, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The appellate judges in New York felt that the FCC's new policy was arbitrary and vague, as it does not specify that all expletives will trigger fines regardless of the circumstances. At the same time, the appellate judges hinted that a true ban on all broadcast expletives would violate the 1st Amendment's free-speech guarantee. 
At the same time, broadcasters have said they have no desire to air expletives, but they're just trying to make sure that when an unscripted expletive is used - most often by a celebrity who is not a network employee - it does not result in a large fine. To help monitor the situation, broadcasters have instituted five-second delays on awards shows and some other live programming, but an occasional expletive can still slip through.

"It's like the Maytag repairman," said Rick Cotton, general counsel for NBC Universal, according to the LA Times. "You're expecting that after sitting in front of a console for literally thousands of hours that at a particular moment, on a completely unexpected basis, a person will hear it and will react in time."




 
Breaking News
KSSX/San Diego Flips to Rhythmic CHR as JAMíN 95.7
On-Air Moves at Entercom-San Francisco
Universal Music Group Acquires Digital Agency Fame House
Cherrytree Records Partners With ADA
In Brief - May 27, 2016
May 26, 2016
Cumulus Media Appoints John Dimick as VP/Programming Operations
Universal Music Group Appoints Gautam Srivastava to EVP, Human Resources
Intergr8 Research: Which Hits Shazam Can Help You Spot Early
Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend
In Brief - May 26, 2016
May 25, 2016
Nielsen Insights: Their Generation
NAB Statement on Court Ruling on Media Ownership Rules
Republic Records Celebrate DNCE Going Double Platinum
May 24, 2016
iHeartMedia Wins Legal Battle
Spotify's Losses Increase As Revenues Grow Faster
Pierre Bouvard: The TV Upfront: History, 2016 issues, and What It Means For Radio
United Stations Adds Sammy Hagar's Radio Show
May 23, 2016
Columbia Records Announces Jennifer Frommer As Head of Its Creative Agency
iHeartRadio Summer Pool Party Heats Up Miami
National Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Nominees
Shelley Wade Named Afternoon Host at KMYI (Star 94.1)/San Diego
Spotify's Family Plan Gets An Upgrade
May 20, 2016
eQB NOW
May 19, 2016
Republic Records Promotes David "Davey Dee" Ingenloff to SVP/Rhythm Crossover Promotion
Music News
FMQB Retro-Active: Ken Sharp Enthuses On The Who's Still-Thriving Music Career, As Well As Their Charitable Efforts
The Weeknd Tops Billboard Music Award Winners
Quick Hits: Leona Lewis, The Strokes, Cold War Kids
Quick Hits: Teen Choice Awards, Bon Jovi, The Killers
Quick Hits: Eminem, Mariah Carey, Red Nose Day TV Special, My Morning Jacket, The Tragically Hip
Drake Stays at #1, Meghan Trainor Debuts at #3 on Billboard 200
Quick Hits: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Megadeth, Ramones
Drake Leads Nominees For 2016 BET Awards
Quick Hits: Adele, Fifth Harmony, Life is Beautiful festival, Beastie Boys
Quick Hits: Chevelle, Rage Against The Machine / Prophets of Rage, 3 Doors Down, Make America Rock Again tour
Ariana Grande, Calvin Harris & More Headlining Billboard Hot 100 Festival
Quick Hits: MuchMusic Awards, Guns N' Roses / Lenny Kravitz / Alice in Chains, Rage Against The Machine, Riot Fest
Puff Daddy Takes Bad Boy Reunion on the Road
Quick Hits: Justin Timberlake, Houston Open Air, The Temper Trap, High Elevation Rock Festival, Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, Lou Reed
Drake Stays Atop Billboard 200, Radiohead Debut at #3
FMQB NOW

John Mayer
PD, WFLZ/Tampa

Advertisement:
Search FMQB.com
Advertisements:
FMQB Member Login
Email:
Pass:

Save
Not a member yet?
Sign up Now!
Sign Up for Breaking News!
Enter FMQB E-Tracking!