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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fox to FCC: Fuck You and Your Fleeting Expletive Rules

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Champion of free speech, Fox Broadcasting Corp., will be arguing in favor of the First Amendment before the Supreme Court. From an article in yesterday's Variety:
In March 2006, the FCC cited Fox for fleeting expletives that celebs Cher and Nicole Richie let fly during the net's live broadcast of Billboard Music Awards shows in 2002 and 2003, respectively.Fox challenged the citations, arguing they signaled an "arbitrary and capricious" change in FCC policy, which for decades had exempted one-time profanities uttered during live broadcasts.
A federal appeals court sided with Fox, but the Justice Dept.'s solicitor general, Paul Clement, wasn't having it. He asked the Supreme Court to review the ruling, and to everyone's surprise, the Supreme Court said "Hell, yes!". This marks the first time the high court has ruled on broadcast indecency since 1978. Depending on the court's decision, it could change the way indecency is regulated. Fox will argue that the options available to parents to control what their children watch have changed in the digital age, thus lessening the role the government needs to play regulating content. The FCC will ask the court plaintively, "Won't somebody please think of the children?" Here's hoping that Fox wins, thus hastening television's descent into 24-hour pornography and bloodshed.–Andy Wright

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