Note that the FCC’s empty case against Fox and the FCC continues as Fox refuses to pay a fine for improper use of whipped cream. This was the basis of my FOIA and exclusive reporting that only three complaints led to what was then the largest FCC fine in history. Public outcry, my ass.
At the same time, note that the Supreme Court is hearing the case of the FCC and fleeting expletives. The Times editorial page warns of the danger.
The F.C.C.’s rationale for its fleeting expletives policy is indeed thin. It claimed it was only trying to reflect community standards. But there is scant evidence that the public is up in arms about an occasional coarse word. The words the commission finds so offensive, and so in need of punishment, are the sort commonly heard in PG-rated movies and walking down the street.
The stakes in this case are much higher than whether awards shows can air a few bad words. The F.C.C. has used its new policy to turn itself into a roving censorship board.