FCC Changes Mind Again, Lowers Fox TV Fine Dramatically
February 25, 2008 at 11:48 AM (PT)
The FCC backtracked significantly in its indecency fine against NEWS CORP.for FOX-TV's airing of the 2003 reality show "Married by America." Instead of laying the wood with a $7,000 fine to all 169 stations that aired it for a total of $1.2 million, the FCC is now targeting just 13 stations, lowering the total to just $91,000.
YESTERDAY, the FCC denied FOX's appeal, which argued that pixilated nudity and whipped-cream covered bodies were not indecent. However, the original 2004 million-dollar fine was amended so that the $7,000 fine was only assessed to the stations in markets where the complaints came from. According to THE WASHINGTON POST, the remaining stations are in WASHINGTON, D.C., DETROIT, MINNEAPOLIS, TAMPA, ROANOKE, DES MOINES, YAKIMA, WA, and CHARLESTON, WV.
The FCC now practices a 'policy of restrained enforcement in indecency proceedings'
"Restrained" Enforecment Of Radio, Too?
The POST quoted the FCC as saying it now practices a "policy of restrained enforcement in indecency proceedings," but it wouldn't comment on why it took them so long to deny the appeals, then reduce the fine.
The COMMISSION's action raises other questions: Have radio stations paid indecency fines even though there were no complaints coming from their particular markets -- and if so, aren't they due a rebate of sorts? Is this "policy of restrained enforcement" an attempt to improve its arguing position in the various Court cases it finds itself in? Also, if the FCC is restraining the enforcement to the markets where complaints were registered, shouldn't it also restrain from accepting complaints generated by e-mail form letter mills?