The Daily Stern
: LA TIMES WORRIES: An LA Times editorial frets that the indecent indecency bills zooming through Congress are unconstitutional:
Washington cannot address a key reason why vulgarity too often reigns on radio and television: because it sells. Don’t like shock jock Howard Stern? Don’t listen to the show. The government’s current alternative is scarier than anything the deliberately provocative Stern could muster.
The pending Senate bill is a companion to chilling legislation recently passed in the House of Representatives that wrongly would put most of the policing burden on performers, raising fines from $11,000 to $500,000 for an initial indecency violation, regardless of their ability to pay, and removing earlier requirements that they first be issued a warning citation.
The top fine against them is nearly double the $275,000 that the Senate bill would permit the FCC to fine broadcasters for an initial indecency violation.
The bill’s draconian provisions against performers raise serious 1st Amendment free-speech guarantees, because even “indecent” speech has legal protection. However, even if the legislation were constitutional, the FCC’s past decisions demonstrate that it does not enforce its rules in any common-sense context….
The FCC’s recent enforcement of indecency laws is no less arbitrary. A discussion by Stern about raunchy sex practices draws tens of thousands of dollars in fines; a similar discussion on an afternoon TV talk show draws nothing.
Wimps. That’s Oprah. Oprah Winfrey.
: BUST OPRAH: Joe Territo — who filed a formal complaint with the FCC against Oprah — shows us a clueless letter from Dianne Feinstein trying (typical for her) to have it both ways: in favor of censorship and the First Amendment at the same time. That’s a Constitutional oxymoron.
: HENCEFORTH THE “F-WORD” SHALL BE KNOWN AS THE “-WORD”: Barney Lerten passes on this from The Well:
FCC: TERM “F-WORD” ITSELF TO BE BANNED
Will Examine Other Euphemisms, Slang Terms, and “Code Words”
WASHINGTON (Plausible News Service) — The Federal Communications
Commission, as part of its ongoing crackdown on obscenity following the
Janet Jackson Super Bowl debacle, has announced that the very term
“F-word,” which is used to refer to an obscene word for the sexual act,
will be banned from all broadcast media beginning July 1.
“Everybody knows what ‘F-word’ means,” said FCC Chairman Michael
Powell, describing the new regulations to the Congressional
Subcommittee on Moral Purity chaired by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL). “So
saying ‘F-word’ should be subject to the same kinds of sanctions as
saying — well, you know.”
Discussion among the Congresspeople present soon led to other
concerns. “Well, what about when people use words like ‘frigging’?”
asked Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)….
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