Powered by i.TV
October 7, 2015

FCC lets a foul-mouthed ABC and CBS off the hook

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 7th 2006 3:43PM
Kevin J. MartinThe FCC has dismissed indecency charges against ABC's NYPD Blue and CBS' Early Show, but has upheld charges against - oh, delicious irony - Fox.

Back in April, the networks sued the FCC and asked an appeals court to invalidate the Commission's charges of indecency against NYPD, Early Show and Fox's broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards in 2002 and 2003 on the grounds that the charges were unconstitutional.

ABC got off easy. The NYPD Blue episodes that used the words "dickhead" and "bullshit" were let off the hook because they aired several years ago - before the FCC upped its fines 10x, post-Janet wardrobe malfunction.

The CBS and Fox charges came down to whether the uttering of "fleeting, isolated and in some cases unintentional" profanities was enough to render an entire broadcast indecent.

CBS got off because the indecent utterance in question was heard on a news show. A Survivor contestant interviewed on the Early Show called another contestant a "bullshitter." The FCC chose to exercise restraint in the fining of a news program and found the use of the term "bullshitter" to be "appropriate in this instance."

Fox, on the other hand, got the brunt of the FCC's wrath. On the Fox-broadcasted Billboard Music Awards, Cher said "fuck 'em," and Nicole Richie said, "Have you ever tried to get cow shit out of a Prada purse? It's not so fucking simple."

FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin (pictured) had his own two cents to add, "Hollywood continues to argue they should be able to say the F-word on television whenever they want. Today, the commission again disagrees." In response, Fox spokesperson Scott Grogin said, "Fuck 'em."

Alright, I couldn't resist that. What he actually said was, "Today's decision highlights our concern about the government's inability to issue consistent, reasoned decisions in highly sensitive First Amendment cases. We look forward to court review, and the clarity we hope it will bring to this area of the law."

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

I'm curious about the joyous irony you find in this piece of news....

For two weeks in a row, FOX has aired an anti-military episode of THE SIMPSONS.

Last week, the producers of the show used Treehouse of Horror regulars Kang and Kodos to comment on the war in Iraq.

This week, the skewering was courtesy Keifer Sutherland's guest appearance.

Last week, SIMPSONS' message was particularly noticeable because the episode was followed by an episode of AMERICAN DAD that tweaked the Republican stand against gay marriage and a FAMILY GUY episode that saw Stewie and Brian enlist, only to become stationed in Iraq.

Last week's three episode mini-theme aired two days before a national election that lurched the nation to the left.

This week's tweaking of the military aired on Veteran's Day weekend.

The next time you think FOX's parent company, Newscorp, is conservative - think again.

When it comes to FOX, Rupert Murdoch is an equal opportunity offender.

November 13 2006 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Rakunas

Does the FCC even have a raison d'etre?

The CHILDREN! Won't SOMEbody think of the CHILDREN!

I mean... a valid one?

Oh. Sorry. Should've read that part.

November 07 2006 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And this is why I love British TV. They can say whatever the hell they want for the most part. Just take a look at the 2nd season of the UK Office.

November 07 2006 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does the FCC even have a raison d'etre?

I mean... a valid one?

Let the market drive the airwaves. After all, they belong to the public. To ALL the public... including those who want to see and hear what some other members of the public may not want to see or hear.


November 07 2006 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gladly I still can say this...

Fuck you FCC! Fuck you!

November 07 2006 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners