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
eQB NOW
Tommy Chuck Named Program Director of WIHT/Washington, D.C. & WPOC/Baltimore
iHeartRadio Surpasses 60 Million Registered Users
SFX Entertainment Names New President & COO
Third Music Industry Reunion Planned For Los Angeles
In Brief - January 23, 2015
January 22, 2015
Edgar "Shoboy" Sotelo Joins WBMP/New York For Mornings
Rdio Launches In 24 New International Markets
Shazam Announces $30 Million Investment At $1 Billion Valuation
iHeartMedia Celebrates Valentine's With "iHeartRadio Ultimate Valentine's Escape"
In Brief - January 22, 2015
January 21, 2015
Dave Dyer Promoted to SVP Promotion, Warner Bros. Records
JD Garfield Joins KWYD/Boise As APD/Morning Drive Host
iHeartRadio Country Festival Returns
Edison Research: Streaming Audio Now Bigger Than AM/FM Radio Among US Teens
In Brief - January 21, 2015
January 20, 2015
John Fleckenstein Named EVP, RCA Records
iHeartMedia St. Louis Announces Two New Program Directors
Local Radio Networks, AdLarge Media Form Exclusive Partnership For 24/7 Format Radio Network
Len Berman And Todd Schnitt To Host Mornings On WOR
Scott Shapiro Named VP/Sports Programming For Premiere Networks
Jim Daunais, Tim Walker Promoted To EVP Posts At Westwood One
Tony Waitekus Appointed OM For NRG Media's Wausau-Stevens Point Stations
Alpha Media To Purchase Coast Radio Company Radio Stations
CRN Study: Which Radio Messages Have Greatest Impact On Millennials
In Brief - January 20, 2015
January 19, 2015
Music News
Paramore Announce Spring Theater "Events"
Quick Hits: Kanye West, The Black Keys, Rush, Nick Jonas
BET Honors Usher, Kanye West
Quick Hits: Ariana Grande, TLC, Art Of Anarchy, Rob Zombie, Aerosmith, Rocklahoma
Meghan Trainor's Title Debuts At #1
LL Cool J Returning As Grammy Host
Quick Hits: The Grammys, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell, Linkin Park, Interpol, David Byrne
Madonna Bares Her Rebel Heart
Quick Hits: Slipknot, Justin Bieber, NKOTB / TLC / Nelly, Mötley Crüe, "Weird Al" Yankovic
FMQB Retro-Active: Ken Sharp Talks to Longtime Music Scribe Harvey Kubernik About His Latest Musical Tome
Quick Hits: Metallica, A$AP Yams, TLC, Ariana Grande
Grateful Dead Members To Reunite For 50th Anniversary
The Week In Review: 1/12/-1/16
Quick Hits; John Legend, Idina Menzel, Common, Lady Gaga, The Black Crowes, Kim Fowley
Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa Plan Road Trip
FMQB NOW

Alicia Tyler, PD
WZNE/Rochester

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!