The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

FCC Wants to Waffle on Indecency Ruling

Posted by thelamp on September 7, 2006

The Federal Communications Commission says it rushed to judgment in concluding that “NYPD Blue” and three other television programs violated rules governing the broadcast of indecent and profane material, an FCC lawyer said Aug. 29.

The lawyer, Eric D. Miller, asked an appeals court to delay hearing a challenge to the FCC’s findings for two months so its board can hear the opinions of the owners of the programs and reconsider its rulings, which carried no fines.

In court papers, the FCC said it skipped its usual process of soliciting responses from the broadcasters because it believed the orders responded to requests from broadcasters for guidance on what violates the FCC’s new indecency and profanity rules. Does anyone really believe the broadcasters would find the questionable material objectionable?

The FCC said it acted faster than usual and did not propose fines for any of the programs, concluding only that the programs “apparently” violated the statutory and regulatory prohibitions on indecency and profanity.

Lawyers for several broadcasting companies told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals they ultimately want to challenge the rules, which they say have spoiled their First Amendment rights, exposing them to hefty fines for accidental broadcasts of isolated and fleeting expletives.

ABC Television Network, NBC Universal Inc., CBS Broadcasting Inc., Fox and their network affiliate associations challenged a March 15 FCC order resolving indecency complaints based on television programs that aired between February 2002 and 2004. The FCC said it did not issue fines in those cases because the incidents occurred before the 2004 ruling.

Broadcasters want the FCC to return to the enforcement system that did not penalize accidental expletives. Of course they do. Everyone knows it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission. If society won’t surrender the air to profanity, broadcasters seem to think no one will notice if a few godless words slip out here and there. Christians will notice, and they’re not going to sit quietly and listen.

Source:  www.centerformoralclarity.net

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