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
Pandora Revenue, Listenership Rises In Q1
In Brief - April 29, 2016
April 28, 2016
SiriusXM Reports First Quarter 2016 Results
CMG Tulsa Names Nathan Reed Director of Branding & Programming at KRAV-FM
Cumulus Media Shreveport Ups Julie Kansy to PD at KQHN
ASCAP Revenue Tops $1 Billion For Second Straight Year
April 27, 2016
Blaire Galaton-Kelleher Joins “The Jack Diamond Morning Show” On WRQX/Washington, D.C
Premiere Networks To Provide Distribution For Aiir
Radio Milwaukee Names Glenn Kleiman Executive Director
In Brief - April 27, 2016
April 26, 2016
CBS Radio Las Vegas Promotes JB King to Operations Manager
KLUC/Las Vegas Taps John Moug As New Afternoon Drive Host
Donna Gryn Promoted to VP of Marketing at Republic Records
KIIS FM/Los Angeles Announces Artists Performing At Wango Tango Pre-Show Village
In Brief - April 26, 2016
April 25, 2016
KROQ/Los Angeles Annouces Weanie Roast 2016
Kristie McIntyre Returns To D.C. Airwaves For Nights On WRQX
Karen Mateo Exits Her Post at CBS Radio
Beasley Las Vegas Names Mark Sturcken Director Of Sales
April 22, 2016
eQB NOW
Radio Pays Tribute To The Musical Legacy of Prince
Hubbard Radio Elevates Jeremy Sinon To Director of Digital Strategy
In Brief - April 22, 2016
April 21, 2016
Music Icon Prince Has Passed Away
Music News
FMQB Photo Pass: Pearl Jam
Blink-182 Announce Album, Tour With Matt Skiba
Drake Expands Tour, Reveals Tracklist For Views
Quick Hits: Demi Lovato & Joe Jonas, Cash Cash, Whitney Houston, Deftones' Chino Moreno
Quick Hits: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga & Elton John, Prince, Thrival Festival, B.o.B
Quick Hits: Bumbershoot Festival, Fetty Wap, HARD Summer, Jenny Lewis, Bayside
Prince Returns To The Top Of The Billboard 200
Drake Announces Summer Sixteen Tour, OVO Fest
Quick Hits: Billboard Music Awards, Guns N' Roses, Tegan and Sara, Twin Peaks, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Paul
Beyoncé Releases New Album Lemonade Via Tidal
Tributes Continue To Pour In For Prince
Entertainment World Reacts to Sudden Loss of Prince
Quick Hits: Mumford & Sons, P!nk, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey
Meghan Trainor Announces Untouchable Tour
AC/DC's Brian Johnson Releases Statement
FMQB NOW

Nick Petropoulos
Head of Promotion
Glassnote Music

    Question Of
      The Week

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!