FCC follies

FCC follies

: The FCC have been quite the busy little beavers.

: Live is dead. As a result of a $3.5 million consent decree agreement with Viacom to settle all its indecency complaints — except for Janet Jackson — the company will now put delay equipment on all its TV and radio shows.

More fun: The company must provide indecency training for all on-air personnel within 30 days. That means they’re going to give Howard Stern potty training. I wonder whether they will have to give Dan Rather potty training, too.

If the FCC finds against an a Viacom station in the future, the company must suspend all employees involved pending an investigation. So, folks, when the FCC decides to bring its latest fine against Stern next month, he would be suspended. Say hello to satellite.

The pig spit commissioners Michael Copps and Kevin Martin don’t think it goes far enough. If any bloggers ever see either of these guys in a porn store, please take a picture of them and forward it, please.

: The FCC oh so generously decided not to fine three shows that had received complaints. Compare these, if you will, to other shows that have gotten complaints recently. Farts and whipped cream got complaints. These did not:

: Keen Eddie did not get fined for having a whore sexually excite a horse.

Commissioners Kathleen Abernathy and Jonathan Adelstein concur but with skewed logic. The entire rationale behind the FCC’s authority is to protect children from nastiness, yet they say: “… whether a program is suitable for our children is not the standard that as Commissioners of this agency we must apply….”

Getaloada this high-horse moment: “:We are, however, compelled by the Constitution not to overreach our limited authority in this area and impose our taste and personal judgments on the rest of America. If we overstep our authority, we run the risk of having our limited authority curtailed forever.” As well you should, you fools. What are you doing but imposing your taste and personal judgments on the rest of America? What are you doing but that? You damned well should have your authority curtailed forever.

The horrid Kevin Martin dissents with this gem: “Yet, the majority concludes that the program, in which a prostitute is hired to sexually arouse a horse by removing her blouse and to ‘extract’ semen from the horse, is not indecent because the prostitute is ‘never seen actually touching’ the horse. Despite my colleagues

  • Mumblix Grumph

    I don’t know, Jeff. A show that has a hooker “interacting” with a horse like that sounds pretty bad to me.
    Why they chose not to go after that is a mystery to me, and I even read the “reasoning” behind it.
    This entire FCC thing sounds like the old “I’ll know it when I see it” school of censorship. We have peaks and valleys of outrage. Right now we’re on a valley. It will change, it always does.
    I’m glad Stern is going to sattelite. I really want the technology to take off and it usually takes a “killer app” to get the ball really rolling.
    “Mature” content frequently drives new technology sales. Porn helped bring VCR’s into people’s homes as well as high-speed internet.
    Eventually sattelite will be highly regulated, but by then there will be something to replace it.

  • Eileen

    “The entire rationale behind the FCC’s authority is to protect children from nastiness,..”
    There you go – off – again, Jeff. No it isn’t. You TRULY need to get clued in to the laws related to obscenity, And the 1st Amendment, And the mandate of the FCC…
    You’re just spouting in the dark. After so many posts along these lines, clearly you have no interest in writing based on facts, as you obviously know nothing about the law related to these topics. You can spout all day but if you were the least bit responsible you’d start getting educated.
    I begin to see you as a same ‘ole hysteria inducing/non fact based reporter…..what I call agenda reporting. You only wish to push your own views which aren’t even based on facts. (Yeah, it’s your blog – no need to be responsible or accurate and all that rubbish.) Worse still, you don’t even have an understanding of the subject matter. For shame!!!!!!

  • I would advise Eileen to avoid suicide by self disembowelment, she’d keep missing the point.
    Seriously, I wonder what the FCC would do about a program dealing with urinary health.

  • Eileen

    Right, Alan, as you focus on dungeons on your own blog.
    If anyone here wants to ‘preserve the 1st’, ‘abolish the FCC’ and etc., it would behoove them to FIRST understand the law related to it.

  • pele

    You’re not a ‘Land of the free’ you know.

  • Eileen

    Oh yes we ARE, pele. Where are you from? What do you know about our laws? For that matter, our 1st amendment freedoms enable you to come here and criticize us, without even knowing a whit about our laws.
    And if you don’t agree with me, name any other country on the face of the globe which is more ‘free’.

  • pele

    OK, I take that back. You are free. You want to watch out though. You may not be as free as you think you are.
    Did you see this…

  • Eileen:
    You act as if you know it all but….
    The reason that bad words are not allowed during the hours the are forbidden is precisely so children will not be exposed to them.
    I have talked with leading First Amendment attorneys for stories on this subject, for example .

  • Jeff-
    Well at least you’ve expanded your criticism beyond Michael Powell.
    What bothers me about your position is that you blame reasonable people appointed to do a job for doing the job they were appointed to do. If you don’t like the FCC (and a great argument can be made for disbanding it), then get P.O.ed at Congress for continuing to fund it.
    But to be irritated with Michael Powell for taking his job seriously is silly. Every time I’ve heard him speak (including with Howard Stern), he sounds reasonable, deliberative, and fully conscious of the splitting of hairs that he is being asked to do.
    It sounds as if other commissioners are willing to exceed their mandate on an ad hominem basis, but Mr. Powell, IMNSHO, is not.

  • Eileen

    I certainly don’t know it all, not by a Long Shot. But as part of my J.D. program (Loyola Law School at Los Angeles, 1981) I did thoroughly study a host of 1st amendment based issues, and specifically, laws related to obscenity.
    Preventing the use of bad words from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. may be a small slice of the body of law the FCC is required to enforce which is, I agree with you, designed to protect little ears. However, to say “the entire rationale behind the FCC’s authority is to protect children from nastiness,..” is just not true. For example, they are Required to enforce obscenity laws – including conduct – which have been determined by the courts to Not be 1st amendment protected speech. Those obscenity laws are designed to protect all ages from certain defined speech and conduct.
    The Commissioners are applying definitions and standards as established in cases like Miller v. California, 1973. You may not agree with the definitions or how the FCC applies them (and as you noted one of the Commissioners doesn’t agree with certain of the applications by the majority either). However, they are mandated to enforce existing law. As Dann pointed out, they are doing the job they were appointed to do.

  • When I say entire rationale I am speaking culturally and politically — that is, it is the basis used to argue for cutting exceptions to the First Amendment, which I do believe will be reversed by a sensible court somewhere along the line. That is why I do hope this goes to court and is not settled constantly under the FCC’s blackmail of license renewal.

  • kel so

    Just a comment about Coupling. I was living in the UK when the American knock off first aired. I haven’t ever seen it, but I was told it was pretty bad. I absolutely love the UK series, but I knew that the US version would never be able live up to it because it the FCC won’t allow the language, inuendo, and quite probably enitre episodes of the UK version would be too indecent for the shy American sensibilities. heh,like the episode “the Melty Man Cometh” which concerned a man’s inability to get an erection when he was with a woman he actually cared for….hilarious!!
    Not something I’d let young kids watch, but certainly not indecent. Now to hear that the FCC actually had a problem with the watered down American version, how ridiculous.

  • CharlieO

    I read the consent decree. What a load of crap. But crap goes along with the fact this country is in proverbial toilet. This country has disintegrated into mob rule not majority rule. Welcome to the Christian Fascist States of America.