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August 30, 2014

federal communications commission

FCC Appeals Ruling That Threw Out Indecency Regulations

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 27th 2010 2:30PM
GavelThe Federal Communications Commission is fighting back against a July court ruling that threw out the organization's regulations against indecency on broadcast television, the Los Angeles Times reports.

After celebrities like Nicole Richie, Cher and Bono swore during award shows in 2002 and 2003, the FCC ruled in 2004 that television networks can be fined for those instances when such off-the-cuff expletives are broadcast. Last month, a New York appeals court threw out the organization's rules, saying they were unenforceable because they were so "unconstitutionally vague and chilling."

But, as expected, the FCC has appealed the decision made by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

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'Family Guy' is Keeping the FCC Busy

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 26th 2010 11:00AM
Family GuyLet it be known that Seth MacFarlane is doing his patriotic duty. He is keeping Americans employed by running 'Family Guy', the television program that generates more FCC complaints than any other.

Remember when 'The Simpsons' was the most controversial show on television? Now it seems tame by comparison to a plethora of others. Of course, now 'Family Guy' will set the standard for the future in terms of crudeness.

Mind you, the FCC only investigates complaints about network channels (the ones that can be seen for free). So programs like 'South Park' and 'Jersey Shore' are safe ... for now.

And what sort of depraved and immoral activities will the animated sitcom of the future hold? Will it have baby eating? Sex with vegetables? Politics? Whatever the lowest common denominator program of the future is, the only guarantee that can be certain in the future is that it will be shown on Fox.

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The MPAA doesn't want you to pick your cable stations

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 11th 2008 1:23PM
MPAAThe MPAA has warned the FCC against allowing cable subscribers a la carte pricing for their cable channels. This was done in reaction to several consumer rights groups feeling that the current bundling method of pricing was against the spirit of the First Amendment.

The television networks (and, by extension, the cable companies) and the MPAA have been in bed with each other since the word "television" entered our lexicon. I learned in a marketing class that the majority of advertisements for any movie are found on television and they tend to be broadcast on Thursday nights when people are deciding what to do with their weekend.

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FCC gets 150 complaints about the Super Bowl

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 7th 2007 4:43PM

Prince at the Super BowlThe Federal Communications Commission got 150 complaints about the content of this year's big game. They centered on two events: one was the phallic imagery generated by Prince during his halftime show (pic on the right). Can you guess the other one?

Yup, that Snickers ad with the two guys kissing (Snickers has since pulled the commercial).

The Smoking Gun has the documents, and some of the complaints are hilarious. One viewer says that Prince's giant penis guitar shadow had a traumatic effect on his son: "[my son] hoped to be a quarterback and now he will turn out gay...thanks CBS for turning my son GAY." Another viewer said "God knows I didn't turn on the Super Bowl expecting to be tricked into watching gay sex," which makes me wonder where he usually goes to not be tricked into watching gay sex.

I wonder what these people think about football players slapping each other on the rear after good plays, and then taking showers together after a game. NAKED!

[via TV Tattle]

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CBS steps up fight against Super Bowl fine

by Anna Johns, posted Nov 25th 2006 2:14PM
janet jackson; super bowl; breast; justin timberlakeCBS is fighting like hell against the $550,000 fine against its stations for the now-infamous "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show when Janet Jackson flashed America. The network has taken the fine to an appellate court, where it argued the decision "raises First Amendment and due process questions and is arbitrary and capricious".

The network says the baring of Janet's breast was an accident that lasted nine-sixteenths of a second and called it a "blink and you miss it" event. The network argues that, despite the FCC ruling, the incident was not explicit or graphic because very few people actually saw it in real time (oh, but we all saw it on the news in slow motion and on the internet). The network also cites previous FCC rulings on nudity that contradict its Super Bowl fine, claiming the FCC essentially changed its rules in order to impose a stiff fine to appease the "masses" who freaked out about a boobie. In response, the FCC accused CBS of wanting to show naked bodies to little kids... or something like that.

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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.

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Parent Television Council strikes again

by Anna Johns, posted Sep 3rd 2006 9:04PM
parent television councilOh, puh-lease. The Parent Television Council, a group that has a stick up its collective ass, has made a formal complaint to the FCC about last week's Emmy telecast. It wasn't the plane crash skit that ignited their anger, it was a comment by winner Helen Mirren as she accepted her Emmy for Best Actress in HBO's Elizabeth I. You may recall, Helen worried about taking a tumble on her way up to the stage. She mentioned falling "tits over ass", a common British phrase. Calista Flockhart later presented with Mirren and said the phrase again in playful banter. NBC did air the show on a delay but chose not to censor the comment. The PTC released this statement, "It is utterly irresponsible and atrocious for NBC to air this vulgar language during the safe harbor time when millions of children were in the viewing audience." The FCC is reportedly trying to decifer its own rules to determine whether the offense is worthy of a fine.

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CBS fined for indecency on... Without a Trace?

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 16th 2006 8:24AM
without a trace fcc fineHere we go again. The FCC just handed down a big, fat, steaming pile of fines to the big four networks for indecency. Surprisingly, the biggest fine of all was against Without a Trace. CBS and 111 of its affiliates might have to pay a whopping $3.63 million fine. To put that in perspective, Howard Stern only racked up $3.5 million in fines for the CBS network. What was so offensive? A scene in a December 2004 episode that depicted teen-agers in an orgy. CBS strongly disagrees with the fine. The FCC also refused to reduce the fine for the Janet Jackson Super Bowl boobage, which stands at $550,000. Also for CBS.

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FCC about to come down hard on FOX, NBC, CBS

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 23rd 2006 9:39AM
kevin martin fccHere we go again. MarketWatch is reporting that the Federal Communications Commission plans to impose sanctions on FOX, NBC, and CBS for indecent content. The penalties are the first imposed since current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin (pictured) took office in March 2005. In addition to whatever fines the networks will be made to pay, the FCC will also add the word "shit" to its list of words that cannot be said on television (MarketWatch describes the new banned word as "a four-letter word that is a synonym for excrement" and I can only assume they're not banning the word "crap"). The ruling will also reportedly clarify what is considered indecent, which has become muddied and confusing over the years.

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How to save money on cable

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 10th 2006 9:55AM
fccThe FCC just released a report that says Americans would save up to 13% on their cable bills if the cable companies would just let us buy channels individually. That can't be making the cable companies happy, which insist on not only pushing channel packages on us, but also on raising their rates as much as 6% each year.

Channels I'd dump if I could buy cable a la carte:

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