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Old 06-04-2007, 11:46 PM   #1
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Bono and the FCC

One win for "Fuck" FCC loses appeal for Bono's use of the word fuck during broadcast.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070604/broad...ency.html?.v=4

Quote:
AP
Broadcasters Win FCC Expletive Dispute
Monday June 4, 7:40 pm ET

By Larry Neumeister, Associated Press

Writer
Court Says FCC's Policy on Expletives in Live Broadcasts Is Arbitrary; Bono Outburst at Issue

NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Monday found that a new Federal Communications Commission policy penalizing accidentally aired expletives was invalid, saying it was "arbitrary and capricious" and might not survive First Amendment scrutiny.

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The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not, however, outlaw the policy outright. In a 2-1 ruling, it found in favor of a Fox Television-led challenge to the policy and returned the case to the FCC to let the agency try to provide a "reasoned analysis" for its new approach to indecency and profanity. It added it was doubtful the FCC could do so.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told The Associated Press that the ruling will make it difficult to impose fines for indecency.

"Practically, this makes it difficult to go forward on a lot of the cases that are in front of us," he said.

An appeal was being considered, he said.

The broadcasters had asked the appeals court last year to invalidate the FCC's conclusion that profanity-laced broadcasts on four shows were indecent, even though no fines were issued.

The new policy was put in place after a January 2003 broadcast of the Golden Globes awards show by NBC when U2 lead singer Bono uttered the phrase "f------ brilliant." The FCC said the "F-word" in any context "inherently has a sexual connotation" and can trigger enforcement.

Monday's ruling favored Fox's challenge to the FCC's finding of indecency in regards to a Dec. 9, 2002, broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards in which singer Cher used the phrase "F--- 'em" and a Dec. 10, 2003, Billboard awards show in which reality show star Nicole Richie said, "Have you ever tried to get cow s--- out of a Prada purse? It's not so f------ simple."

The FCC late last year had dropped its indecency claims against two other television broadcasts.

The appeals court said some of the FCC's explanations for a 180-degree change in its policy were "divorced from reality." It countered the FCC argument that broadcasters might now air expletives all day, saying broadcasters had never done so in the 30 years before the policy was changed.

In a statement, Martin said: "It is the New York court, not the commission, that is divorced from reality in concluding that the word 'f---' does not invoke a sexual connotation."

FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps said the court's decision was "disappointing to me and to millions of parents and concerned citizens across the land" but "doesn't change the FCC's legal obligation to enforce the indecency statute."

"So any broadcaster who sees this decision as a green light to send more gratuitous sex and violence into our homes would be making a huge mistake," Copps said in an e-mailed statement. "The FCC has a duty to find a way to breathe life into the laws that protect our kids."

In a statement, Fox Broadcasting said: "We are very pleased with the court's decision and continue to believe that government regulation of content serves no purpose other than to chill artistic expression in violation of the First Amendment. Viewers should be allowed to determine for themselves and their families, through the many parental control technologies available, what is appropriate viewing for their home."

NBC Universal said in a statement that the ruling relied on a "strong dose of common sense" and vindicated its view that the FCC's recent indecency rulings were arbitrary and inconsistent.

The appeals court said it found that the FCC's new policy regarding so-called fleeting expletives "represents a significant departure from positions previously taken by the agency and relied on by the broadcast industry."

The appeals court said agencies are free to revise their rules and policies, but it said they must provide a reasoned analysis, which the FCC had failed to do.

In a majority opinion written by Judge Rosemary Pooler, the appeals court said all speech covered by the FCC's indecency policy is fully protected by the First Amendment.

"With that backdrop in mind, we question whether the FCC's indecency test can survive First Amendment scrutiny," she said. "For instance, we are sympathetic to the networks' contention that the FCC's indecency test is undefined, indiscernible, inconsistent and consequently unconstitutionally vague."

The court said it could understand why the networks argue that the FCC's indecency policy "fails to provide the clarity required by the Constitution, creates an undue chilling effect on free speech and requires broadcasters to 'steer far wider of the unlawful zone.'"

"In the licensing context, the Supreme Court has cautioned against speech regulations that give too much discretion to government officials," the court said.

The appeals court said some of the FCC's explanations for a 180-degree change in its policy were "divorced from reality." It then countered the FCC argument that broadcasters might without the new policy air expletives all day by saying broadcasters had never done so in the 30 years before the policy was changed.

The appeals court gave a nod to what it called "today's realities" when it mentioned the ability of parents to use technology to limit what their children see.

"The proliferation of satellite and cable television channels -- not to mention Internet-based video outlets -- has begun to erode the 'uniqueness' of broadcast media," the appeals court wrote.

In a dissent, Judge Pierre Leval said the FCC had given a "sensible, although not necessarily compelling, reason" for its new policy.

Although Fox was the plaintiff in the appeal, representatives of other networks were interested parties and submitted written arguments to the court.

Associated Press Writer John Dunbar in Washington contributed to this report
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:58 PM   #2
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Dang, I can't believe they're still talking about that 4 years later.

That's a lotta fuss over a little "fuck".
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:16 AM   #3
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What are the rules on Fuck in the US? Can you drop a fuck after any specific time on network tv?
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
What are the rules on Fuck in the US? Can you drop a fuck after any specific time on network tv?
You can't say fuck, shit, cunt, cock head, etc... You can say the occasional bitch or ass but thats about it.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin24


You can't say fuck, shit, cunt, cock head, etc... You can say the occasional bitch or ass but thats about it.
Well Justin, if you are ever a guest on an Australian tv show after 9.30 at night, feel free to say whatever the fuck you fuckin' well want.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:38 AM   #6
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I know the movie Waiting for Guffman, one of the funniest and tamest movies ever, got an R rating because the word fuck was used "sexually" not just just like "what the fuck???" like every pg-13 movie gets.

It would've been barely PG anyway.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:59 AM   #7
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Fucking brilliant
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by corianderstem
Dang, I can't believe they're still talking about that 4 years later.

That's a lotta fuss over a little "fuck".
I was about to say the same thing
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:58 AM   #9
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lol in Holland you can swear as much as you like on tv... nobody cares

I can't believe they're still discussing this...
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:03 AM   #10
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big cock coming out of your mouth sounds dirty
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin24


You can't say fuck, shit, cunt, cock head, etc... You can say the occasional bitch or ass but thats about it.

Not true. Schindler's list for example was shown uncensored, plenty of swearing in that one.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by corianderstem
Dang, I can't believe they're still talking about that 4 years later.

That's a lotta fuss over a little "fuck".
Your tax dollars at work
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:18 AM   #13
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How fucking stupid. Virtually all the children of those 'concerned parents' will end up swearing. With or without the FCC.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:18 AM   #14
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Oy. I hate the censorship standards here in the US. If someone wants to cuss on TV they should be allowed to.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:40 AM   #15
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I was watching RTE (Irish national network) during Easter week, they had a short film on at 12pm, based on the Wizard of OZ involving Dublin and drugs....it was full of swearing and a woman getting shot in the head...I found this quite hilarious....

Anyways here after 9 you can say and more or less do what you want on TV...in fact if a programme starts at 8.30 and goe son to 9.30....the second half of the programme will most certainly start including swearing and all manner of indecency
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:58 AM   #16
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How F****** brilliant is it that after all these years they are still in an uproar and trying to do something about Bono dropping the F bomb.

Apparently, they do know that when he gets excited he has a salty tongue.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by toscano

Not true. Schindler's list for example was shown uncensored, plenty of swearing in that one.
I think they did the same for the network showing of ... oh wow, I'm blanking on the name. The WWII movie with Tom Hanks, directed by Spielberg. (Edit: SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Geez. I can't believe I blanked on that.)

Anyway. Brain fart aside, it's definitely an exception. And those unedited movies have been shown without commercial interruption, with one major sponsor instead.

It still surprises me when I watch something like 'The Riches' or 'Rescue Me' and hear all the swearing. I think i'm watching HBO or something, but it's basic cable.

Which makes me wonder why they have to edit 'The Sopranos' so heavily on A&E.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:10 PM   #18
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Comedy Central runs uncensored programming on late Saturday night.

Then there was the prime-time ep of South Park w/ all the uncensored "shit" count....

It's funny, no one complained about that episode...until news releases noted that there were no complaints!
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by kimby
Comedy Central runs uncensored programming on late Saturday night.

Then there was the prime-time ep of South Park w/ all the uncensored "shit" count....

It's funny, no one complained about that episode...until news releases noted that there were no complaints!
But it wasn't on live television, that's the problem.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:36 PM   #20
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excatly, because impressionable children and the elderly only watch live television...
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