The Washington Post finally gets fed up with FCC censorship, not when they came for Stern but when they came for a PBS documentary:
One particularly disturbing aspect of the ruling involved a Martin Scorsese-produced documentary, “The Blues: Godfathers and Sons,” broadcast by a community college public television station in San Mateo, Calif. The documentary included scenes in which musicians and a producer used numerous profanities. The FCC, citing a previous decision that profanity in “Saving Private Ryan” would not subject broadcasters to indecency fines, noted that “in rare contexts, language that is presumptively profane” will still be allowed “where it is demonstrably essential to the nature of an artistic or educational work or essential to informing viewers on a matter of public importance.”
But the commissioners didn’t find that standard was satisfied in the case of the documentary, whose educational purpose, it said, “could have been fulfilled and all viewpoints expressed without the repeated broadcast of expletives.” Really? How do they know better than, say, Mr. Scorsese? As commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, a Democrat, wrote in dissenting, “It is certain to strike fear into the hearts of news and documentary makers, and broadcasters that air them, which could chill the future expression of constitutionally protected speech.” This is a dangerous kind of line-drawing — one better left to filmmakers, or even television executives, than government bureaucrats.