CBS affiliates are arguing to the FCC that the fine against them for Without a Trace because the alleged complaints didn’t come from people.

CBS affiliate stations told federal regulators on Tuesday that proposed fines for a prime-time TV drama depicting teenagers engaged in sex should be tossed out because complaints about the show did not come from real people.

In a motion filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the affiliates argued against complaints that resulted in a FCC proposal to levy $3.3 million in fines for CBS stations that aired the “Without a Trace” episode.

The affiliates claim that not one of the 4,211 complaints the FCC received came from any place outside “the Web sites operated by two advocacy groups — the Parents Television Council and, to a much lesser extent, the American Family Association.” …

“Permitting enforcement reliance on a uniform, national mass e-mail campaign is akin to simply permitting the commission to single out programming it dislikes — even in the absence of any viewer complaint — and to target that programming for punishment,” the affiliates wrote. “The commission wisely has eschewed playing the role of roving enforcer of indecency policy in the past, and it should continue to do so here.”

The FCC — and the media, blindly falling for this ruse — are complicit in a fraud against the First Amendment.