Daily Archives: July 14, 2010

F.C.C. Indecency Policy Rejected on Appeal

If only George Carlin were alive! The 7 words you can’t say on television might become obsolete.

An appellate court in New york has reversed FCC policy of fining accidentally dropped curse words from broadcasts… something which has affected many famous performers (Cher, Bono, Janet Jackson, etc.)

This from the NY Times:

A federal appeals court struck down a Federal Communications Commission policy on indecency Tuesday, saying that regulations barring the use of “fleeting expletives” on radio and television violated the First Amendment because they were vague and could inhibit free speech.The decision, which many constitutional scholars expect to be appealed to the Supreme Court, stems from a challenge by Fox, CBS and other broadcasters to the F.C.C.’s decision in 2004 to begin enforcing a stricter standard of what kind of language is allowed on free, over-the-air television.


In a unanimous three-judge decision, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York said that the F.C.C.’s current policy created “a chilling effect that goes far beyond the fleeting expletives at issue here” because it left broadcasters without a reliable guide to what the commission would find offensive.

The appeals court emphasized that it was not precluding federal regulation of broadcast standards. “We do not suggest that the F.C.C. could not create a constitutional policy,” the court said. “We hold only that the F.C.C.’s current policy fails constitutional scrutiny.”

There’s more to the article HERE.

I guess John Case and I won’t have to worry about slipping on WSCH radio.

This may not last, however, since an appeal is likely to go to our currently conservative Supreme Court. Bummer. Freedom of Speech is so crucial to maintaining our Democracy!

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