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November 27, 2014

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Monster Garage fined 300K for smog violations

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 27th 2007 1:37PM
Jesse James Monster GarageIt turns out all those souped-up choppers and pimped-out rides aren't up to code. California air regulators announced yesterday a nearly $300,000 settlement with Monster Garage's Jesse James and his West Coast Choppers operation. Fifty of his custom-built bikes did not meet California air quality standards. They were built without certified emissions equipment on their exhaust and fuel systems. According to the LA Times, the bikes were spewing hydrocarbons at rates that exceeded state limits times ten.

James isn't the first celebrity grease monkey to get hit with fines. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined the customizers behind Pimp My Ride for replacing steering wheel air bags with TV monitors. The between-seat popcorn poppers, rims-turned-fish tanks and fold-out ping-pong tables weren't a problem. I'm surprised it's taken authorities this long to figure out that vehicles nicknamed "666 El Diablo" and the "Undertaker" aren't street legal. As a rule, air regulators, any school bus with a jet engine strapped to its chassis is probably gonna be in violation.

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Wayans and Dick weigh in on the N-word

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 7th 2006 2:32PM
Damon WayansA couple of more TV celeb-related incidents post-Michael Richards rant have been making the news. First up, Andy Dick. You know him from News Radio, Less than Perfect and his MTV series The Assistant. He jumped on the stage at the Improv during Ian Bragg's set and, in an attempt at "too soon" humor, brandished the n-bomb. He's been apologizing ever since.

A legitimately funny and meaningful use of the "n-word," however, came from Damon Wayans' of Showtime's The Underground. Wayans took the stage at the now famous Laugh Factory last night with a stack of twenties. Since Richards' rant, the club owner has banned the word - levying a $20 per usage fee and three month ban on any comedian who uses the word. Wayans proceeded to drop the n-word sixteen times saying, "I'll be damned if the white man uses that word last." That's $320 price tag for a little freedom of speech, if you're counting.

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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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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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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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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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