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October 9, 2015

Networks appeal FCC fines

by Anna Johns, posted Apr 15th 2006 2:09PM
fcc logoABC, NBC, CBS and FOX have all filed appeals to the FCC's fines for indecent language and subject matter in their programming. The biggest fine was against CBS's Without a Trace for a scene showing too much of a teen-age orgy (or maybe they didn't like the subject matter altogether?). For that, the FCC says CBS must pay an unprecedented $3.63 million. There were also fines against The Early Show on CBS for sucking - ha! just kidding - for profanity in 2004 when a Survivor castoff said "shit", and against The Billboard Music Awards on FOX for the same thing.

The networks are all appealing the fines on the grounds that the FCC's tough new stance on indecency is vague and inconsistent.

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Ian Ross

Bottom line is, that without a "watchdog" agency like the FCC, television decency would absolutely go down the tubes. Do you think these executives and producers care who the audience is and how suitable a given program will be for everyone concerned. They are interested only in ratings and the profits reaped. Look at regular cable TV. Look at the core audience of MTV and tell me that their programming is appropriate for the ages of the kids that watch it. Dont think so! That is what lack of regulation brings, and it would happen literally overnight if they were not watched. TV is crying because they are losing viewers like the Titanic was losing passengers. They need to keep things edgy to compete with cable and other venues. Quite frankly, I think some of what i see on regular cable doesnt match what the rating is on the screen. I think they need to watch themselves also!!

April 17 2006 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think 3.63 million will be enough for these stations to take heed. Most of us don't want trash on the public airwaves - that's what cable is for - if they want to show naked children and cuss like a sailor, let them do it where people want it and will pay for it.

April 16 2006 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

The amazing thing to me is that it is so terrible for these words to be spoken on American TV but here in Canada there's barely a ripple of acknowledgement let alone protest. We've been seeing bare breasts and buttocks on Canadian TV (mainly the CBC) for over 30 years with no appreciable destruction of society.

However the problem isn't entirely the FCC, it's also groups like the PTC who bombard the Commission with protests in hope that something will stick. There's nothing in the way of a mass action group on the other side to balance it out, so you get Bozell making statements like his reaction to the decision to fight the fines: "Their actions today are indecent in and of themselves" and "The only thing wrong with these indecency fines is that they are not nearly tough enough to stop these networks, which have now made it crystal clear that they want to pollute the public airwaves with raunch." There's a fight here that needs to be fought at the grass roots level by more than one side!

April 16 2006 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good on them. The FCC is evil (and not provided for by the constitution) and should be disbanded.

April 15 2006 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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