Fox fights back
: I just got a copy of Fox Broadcasting’s rebuttal to the FCC’s record fine against Married by America. It is a great document.
I’ll proudly note first that I am a footnote for my reporting (complete with permalink).
Mr. Jarvis concludes that the “latest big fine by the FCC against a TV network . . . was brought about by a mere three people who actually composed letters of complaint. Yes, just three people.” Id. Mr. Jarvis further complains that “[i]t is Constitutionally abhorrent that only three people can cause the government to abuse the First Amendment and attempt to censor and chill speech.” Id.
I am honored to officially stand between the FCC and the First Amendment, even if only in a minor supporting role.
Fox added an important observation — as Mediaweek did yesterday — about the tactics of the Bozell complaint factory: “Only one complainant professed even to have watched the program.” Exactly. The FCC does nothing to confirm that these alleged complaints come from citizens or that they watched the show. Bozell apparently pays lackeys to ferret out “filth” and then uses his cult members and his FCC bitches to do is bidding. And media follow right along without asking the right questions.
Also, I never reported the audience size for this allegedly indecent show before. Fox says that 5.1 million households watched (which means more viewers than that). So it’s 5.1 million vs. 3.
Whose community standards is the FCC enforcing? Not my community’s.
And that raises another point that is the subject of my next FOIA request: The FCC, according to Fox, does nothing to discover and discern community standards. I’m going to ask to see any and all surveys, focus groups, and studies of the community and its standards used by the FCC in its enforcement of those standards.
Fox makes a number of good arguments in its 77-page filing against the FCC’s continued censorship. Among them:
: The FCC is enforcing an indecency standard that the Supreme Court specifically rejected in the Communications Decency Act.
… the Supreme Court in Reno v. ACLU ruled that the indecency standard that Congress proposed for the Internet in the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) was unconstitutional. The CDA’s definition of indecency was nearly identical to the broadcast standard