FCC Files Brief Supporting Indecency Rulings
December 6, 2006 at 5:14 PM (PT)
The FCC filed its answer to the broadcasters' challenge of its indecency rulings in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Commission's argument is that it can change its policy when it wants as long as it explains the change, according to BROADCASTING AND CABLE.
Arguing that broadcasters' First Amendment rights are "limited" due to spectrum scarcity and that its order in the NBC GOLDEN GLOBES telecast in which BONO used the F-word noted that the Commission was departing from other cases, the FCC says that the networks' claim that the ruling is arbitrary and capricious is without merit.
The Commission's argument also includes a dismissal of TV's "V-chip" as ineffective and says that contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium "simply do not permit entertainers gratuitously to utter the 'F-word' and 'S-Word' in awards shows broadcast on national television at times when a substantial number of children are certain to be in the viewing audience" -- a departure from the previous standard of when children are likely (rather than certain) to be in the audience.