The Viacom settlement
: The Viacom settlement with the FCC didn’t make clear what it covered — other than that it erased everything except the ongoing battle over Janet Jackson and the death of civilization. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The company agreed to a record $3.5 million settlement to expunge all but one pending indecency complaint.
The payment will cover five outstanding fines totaling $440,500 involving radio programs. It also will settle numerous other incidents under investigation by the Federal Communications Commission that could have led to millions of dollars in additional penalties. Among them was an expected fine of nearly $1.5 million related to shock jock Howard Stern’s raunchy on-air antics, as well as complaints involving television shows on CBS and UPN including “Cold Case,” “CSI” and the Victoria’s Secret annual fashion show, say people familiar with the situation.
Still, Viacom executives were quick to note that the company plans to continue to fight a proposed $550,000 fine by the FCC related to its airing of the Super Bowl half-time show in February.
I’m disappointed that all this will not be going to court. But that is the FCC’s strategy of blackmail. Part of the settlement says that the FCC can’t use any this in license renewals or applications.
Somebody needs to have the balls to fight the FCC in court and take it to the Supreme Court. Howard Stern complains that he never got his day in court because of FCC blackmail. He still won’t.