Tag Archives: Indecency

FCC v. Fox – The Supreme Court Rules

The Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc. The good news here is that the Supreme Court's ruling changes very little on the indecency front. But the bad news is that the decision effects a major shift in a seemingly mundane legal doctrine, a shift that could affect FCC regulatory activity in all respects for years to come.… Continue Reading

From the Horses’ Mouths

Elsewhere on this blog we have posted reports about the oral argument in FCC v. Fox, the first broadcast indecency case to reach the Supreme Court in 30 years. From our notes taken during the argument, we have mined the following nuggets:… Continue Reading

Ordure in the Court?

Fox oral argument in Supremes set for November 4 In planning your Election Day activities this Fall, you might want to pencil in a stop by the U.S. Supreme Court to catch the oral argument in the Fox v. FCC indecency case. (Read about the case in our earlier post.)  It’s currently scheduled for the … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Decision in CBS/Jackson Appeal

Indecency appeals – FCC now 0-2 – In a long-awaited decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the FCC’s order holding that CBS and its affiliates had broadcast indecency in the notorious 2004 Super Bowl half-time show featuring Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.  The Court found that the FCC had had … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Overturns CBS Super Bowl Indecency Fine

Earlier today, the federal court of appeals for the 3rd Circuit overturned the FCC’s $550,000 fine on CBS for the broadcast of Janet Jackson’s infamous 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show. The Third Circuit overturned the FCC’s decision on much the same grounds as the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the FCC’s "Golden … Continue Reading

A Legacy for Broadcasters

Comedian George Carlin has passed away, but he will live on in many ways.  For broadcasters, Carlin’s most noteworthy legacy is the FCC’s indecency policy in all its tortured, blurred inconsistency.  It was Carlin, after all, who created the notion that there might be seven words that you couldn’t say on the public airwaves.  The Commission had … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Takes Indecency Case

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the FCC’s defense of its "Omnibus" Indecency order, which involved the FCC’s decision to punish "fleeting" expletives.  The case, FCC v. Fox Television Stations, marks the first real Supreme Court review of the FCC’s indecency rules since the famous FCC v. Pacifica case considered George Carlin’s "seven dirty … Continue Reading

Supremes Keep Us Hangin’ On

You can’t hurry love, and you apparently can’t hurry the Supreme Court, either.  Despite considerable speculation that the Supremes might announce on Monday, March 3, whether it had decided to hear the FCC’s appeal in the Fox Television indecency case, the Court gave no indication one way or the other on that score in the … Continue Reading

FCC: NYPD Too Blue

The FCC released a new indecency decision on Friday evening, reaching back to a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue to find 52 ABC affiliates "apparently liable" for over $1.4 million in fines.  Before Friday, the FCC had not released a new indecency decision in over a year, apparently waiting for the courts or Congress to … Continue Reading

Commentary: The FCC As Holden Caulfield

Holden Caulfield’s concern about the fact that his younger sister, Phoebe, and her friends might be exposed to the word "fuck" echoes strongly in the FCC’s indecency policy. "But while I was sitting down, I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody’d written "Fuck you" on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Trashes FCC Indecency Policy

In a long-awaited decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has finally dropped the hammer on the Commission’s indecency policy. In an opinion issued on June 4, 2007, a three-judge panel (with one dissent) has held that the "fleeting expletive" policy invoked by the Commission in 2004 and then again in the … Continue Reading