What Does a $1.43 Million Breach of America's Collective Decency Look Like?

The FCC recently slapped a $1.43 million fine on ABC for showing a woman's buttocks in a five-year-old episode of NYPD Blue.

Below, see what $1.43 million worth of titillation gets you. Video not safe for work if you work at the FCC.

Vast archive of reason FCC stuff here.

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  • Taktix®||

    This is how all network TV should be...

  • aight||

    on the screen still before you play it, she looks kinda like Chris Farley

  • ||

    I love how the buttocks are "excretory organs". Not flabs of muscle and fat, but poop machines.

  • ||

    In the FCC's defense, the clip also showed a side view of her left boob, although after close scrutiny, I could see no nipple.

    Just think, it'll only get worse if we get a Huckaprez.

  • Episiarch||

    What the hell? They let Sarah Jessica Parker's face on TV, and she looks like a foot!

  • ||

    They didn't show an excretory organ unless they showed the butthole, er, anus. Somebody's rump is not "an excretory organ." I suspect lawyers will nail that distinction.

  • ||

    I had no idea that she had such a perfect ass. I don't know if I've ever seen a more perfect, heart-shaped ass.

    Fuck the FCC for trying to keep people from seeing such beauty and perfection! Ugly-assed bastards!

  • ||

    you know, there's a lot of similar nakedness on those documentaries about obesity and 900lb people

  • ||

    It's the violent pornography
    Choking chicks and sodomy
    The kind of shit you get on your TV

  • Abdul||

    Obscenity seems like the wrong charge. Pandering to the male demographic would be more appropriate, although I gather that's not illegal. Yet.

  • Tom Bux||

    The FCC is a bunk of pudnockers. Pudnockers who are prudes. Probably all voting for Huckabee.

  • ||

    Meanwhile, CSI shows dead bodies splattered all over a sidewalk. They show people getting shot and blowed up. They show animations of bullets entering someone's head in gory detail.

    But show a little ass? Obscene!

  • Other Matt||

    Just think, it'll only get worse if we get a Huckaprez.

    Nah, he'll just institute "Covenant TV Watching", where you're legally loyal to one show's obligatory nude female, and it costs a shitpot of money to change to another channel. Exceptions will be made for Telemundo novellas, though.

  • David||

    Adamness -- reminds me of a great quote from Jack Nicholson.

    "In this country if you suck a tit, it's an X, but if you hack it off with a sword, it's only an R."

  • ||

    Meanwhile, CSI shows dead bodies splattered all over a sidewalk. They show people getting shot and blowed up. They show animations of bullets entering someone's head in gory detail.

    The real obscenity in CSI is in the Miami knock-off. David Caruso's "acting" may be the greatest travesty of this young century.

    Plus, he's got some nice tie-in's to today's posts. He was in the first year of NYPD Blue and he was in the first Rambo movie.

  • jimmydageek||

    The FCC's policies are more obscene than anything I could ever find on television. Well, except for Ghouliani.

  • Episiarch||

    David Caruso's "acting" may be the greatest travesty of this young century.

    CSI: Miami is awful, but having Caruso there chewing the scenery almost makes up for it. He is so over the top that it's almost shocking that the director lets him get away with it.

  • ||

    CSI actually showed side-boob and asses on the corpses quite a bit.
    I think it is most offensive that this is over something that happened 5 years ago. Where they waiting for it to go on DVD?


    They didn't show an excretory organ unless they showed the butthole, er, anus. Somebody's rump is not "an excretory organ." I suspect lawyers will nail that distinction.
    Me too, bro!
    *frat boy-high five*

  • ||

    Evidently no one at the FCC has ever heard of Google.

  • ||

    CSI: Miami is awful, but having Caruso there chewing the scenery almost makes up for it.

    I see where you're coming from. You almost can't look away it's so horrific. When will his sunglasses get the Emmy nod they so richly deserve?

  • JMR||

    Who says broadcast TV can't compete with racy cable offerings?

  • Episiarch||

    When will his sunglasses get the Emmy nod they so richly deserve?

    When will he win for Most Ridiculous Posture? If the hands-on-hips slumped-shoulder retard move he does now doesn't cut it, I don't know what will. But I will be satisfied if he wins Most Smug Policeman.

  • ||

    CSI: Miami is awful, but having Caruso there chewing the scenery almost makes up for it.

    I see where you're coming from. You almost can't look away it's so horrific. When will his sunglasses get the Emmy nod they so richly deserve?


    I swear I remember him being a good actor once.

  • Christopher Monnier||

    > on the screen still before you play it, she looks kinda like Chris Farley

    Actually I thought it looked like Fabio.

  • Episiarch||

    I swear I remember him being a good actor once.

    You mean like in Session 9? Caruso can act, if the director controls him mercilessly. I guess the directors on CSI have stopped even trying.

  • ||

    WILL SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!

  • TR||

    wtf?

    I may be happy if FCC offices are blown up

    (no terrorist)

  • Buff Conspirator||

    Her agency got the FCC to raise this stink so their client could gain some leverage on the "will show my extreme upper legs for extra" market?

  • Thomas||

    Too bad, 1.43 mil is nothing for showing material harmful to minors.

  • ||

    From five years ago? WTF? There should be a six months statute of limitations on televised obscenity. I mean, why not slap a fine for every time her ass showed up on reruns? Won't surprise me in the least if they do. Fuck the FCC! FUCK EM!

  • ||

    When Dennis Franz showed his ass, there wasn't a fine, and nothing is more obscene than Dennis Franz' ass.

  • ||

    Evidently no one at the FCC has ever heard of Google.

    Speaking of Google, I really liked today's home page. Lego is worthy of commemoration.

  • ktc2||

    I'm glad our feds have so much time and money to waste on nothing.

    Hmm...a re-enactment of a scene that has certianly happened in millions of family homes over the years (although with less perfect anatomy) with no damage to anyone. Yeah, that's indecent.

  • ||

    Caruso annoys, true, but I really liked him in Mad Dog and Glory.

    The FCC is truly running amok. They are increasingly acting like they have jurisdiction over content beyond broadcast. Heck, the justification for them having the ability to regulate content on the airwaves is thin, at best.

    J sub D,

    Lego is a front for the Viking Liberation Organization.

  • Colin||

    There's obviously no prurient intent behind (no pun intended) showing Franz's ass.

    Did I see a subtle (or not so subtle) tribute to the Graduate in that clip?

  • Fluffy||

    In addition to all the other objections here, I'd like to point out that a fine like this is racist as well.

    If PBS shows a documentary about an Amazon tribe, they can show all the nudity they want. The subtext to the "tribal nudity" exception is "Third World people aren't really human".

  • ||

    Lord, let us cast out and destroy those scoops of flesh that provide temptation to our sinful members, neverminding that they feed our blessed newborn Americans (and are encouraged to do so by the Department of Health and Human Services up to 6 months of age, exclusively).

    Let us also penalize with harshest judgements the backsides we rest upon for they also provide the perimeter for the expulsion of waste and toxins from our bodies, neverminding that it was You that designed us so.

    Instead, let us laugh heartily at the pain you so eloquently reap upon our sinful genitalia as seen on America's Funniest Home Videos. We know it proves your love for us. Forever and ever. Amen.

  • ||

    You mean like in Session 9? Caruso can act, if the director controls him mercilessly. I guess the directors on CSI have stopped even trying.
    "Do you mind not licking your lips while looking at the corpse?"
    "It's what my character would do"
    "It's what your wha-ugh-never mind"

  • Other Matt||

    What Does a $1.43 Million Breach of America's Collective Decency Look Like?

    Pretty damn good, IMHO, after looking at the clip. Sorry, forgot to answer the question earlier.

  • Mike Laursen||

    This is how all network TV should be...

    Agreed. Except for, like, when you're watching TV with your mom.

  • Brett||

    Remembered this old video of Jim Carrey doing David Caruso on Letterman:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glvGfQnx3DI

  • New World Dan||

    Also, let's not forget, it isn't what you say, it's how you say it.

    Okay to say:
    penis
    vagina
    intercourse

    Not okay to say:
    cock
    cunt
    fuck

    In a related note, Dexter is comming to broadcast TV. I'm sure the FCC will have a field day with that.

  • Ska||

    I pray to jeebus that the 3rd season of Dexter isn't handled exclusively by CBS.

  • Johncjackson3rd- VP Cosmotaria||

    Every male castmember of NYPD blue also showed his buttocks. I am pretty sure they showed this level of "nudity" their entire run from like 1993-2005.

    Why is a female buttock a sex/excretory organ ( and why does that make something obscene anyway?) indecent, but a male asscheck- say Denis Franz is not considered indecent?

  • ||

    So, any idea how the FCC's ruling in this case will effect the new season of "Ow! My Balls!"?

  • ||

    The reason why it's obscene, is that it shows a beautiful woman covering herself up in embarrassment before the curious eyes of an innocent child, thus planting the vile idea in kids watching the program, that her body is something to be ashamed of.

  • ||

    MY EYES!!!!

    No wait, I enjoyed that. So did the Puritans at the FCC. But they feel shame for that, so ABC. MUST. PAY.

    WILL SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!

    Not that kid. He wins the luckiest 10 year old in the world award.

  • Anonymo the Anonymous||

    In a related note, Dexter is comming to broadcast TV. I'm sure the FCC will have a field day with that.

    Really puzzling. Fantastic show, which grew a lot in the second season, but all this will do is disappoint discerning viewers who might actually like it in its uncut form and piss off the think-of-the-children crowd. Lose-lose.

    And even edited, it's still going to be among the most violent shows on broadcast and easily the darkest thematically, unless I'm forgetting something.

  • hj||

    So back in the 80's all the concern was about "sex and violence".

    Since then, it seems the religious right and these censor groups are only concerned about sex. There was something about the video game "Mass Effect" where no one cared about shooting CGI people, but one CGI buttock scared all the Fox news pundits.

    What happened?

    Was it 9/11 and Iraq? Were the "violence" people liberals, that have since become more libertarian? Changes in the FCC? Cultural shifts in America?

    Not trying to be rhetorical, just curious what was the generally held explanation.

  • ||

    Not trying to be rhetorical, just curious what was the generally held explanation.

    Sex is more fun than killing people, and the religious right hates anything and everything that's fun.

  • Taktix®||

    Sex is more fun than killing people...

    What about sex while killing people?

  • ||

    Egad.

  • kinnath||

    Dexter on CBS . . . A major car wreck is about to occur . . I'm not sure that I can avert my eyes

  • ||

    Violence means God is smiting someone for having sex for reasons other than procreation or doing drugs or calling him nasty names or dancing too closely with primates of the opposite sex or wiping with the wrong hand or not voting Republican, etc.

  • kinnath||

    There's a million people who walk this ground
    Who might steal your wish from you
    A million people maybe not
    A human one at all
    There's just one way that we can stand
    Too many ways to fall

    Well they might be on the fire escape
    They might be down the hall
    They might be watching every
    Move you make
    Through the pinhole in the wall

    They're sworn to their duty
    And they stand so proud and tall
    They say it's nothing personal
    It's just a job that's all

  • ||

    The FCC recently slapped a $1.43 million fine on ABC for showing a woman's buttocks in a five-year-old episode of NYPD Blue.

    For information, not prurient interest, purposes, was this more or less than Janet Jackson's tit? Enquiring minds want to know.

  • ||

    I personally found the AP story to be humorous, based upon the last couple of sentences.

    I would say there are many, many, many people who would heartily disagree!

  • ||


    What about sex while killing people?


    What about killing people with sex? Afterall, it's the eternal death of one's soul for having prurient interests that the moralists seem hell bent on preventing.

  • Andrew||

    Amen to most of the comments here. One question before the house: Shouldn;t there be some sort of statue of limitations here? I mean, this episode aired FIVE years ago and they're issuing fines now?? Come on!

  • The FCC||

    Sorry about the ruckus, but we just saw this video on Youtube. The fine is mere windowdressing--we just wanted to make sure that everyone else saw this fine specimen of womanhood, too.

  • ||

    # ktc2 | January 28, 2008, 12:36pm | #
    # I'm glad our feds have so much time
    # and money to waste on nothing.

    ktc should have said, "I'm glad our feds have so much time and SO MUCH OF OUR money to waste on nothing." That would have shined the spotlight on the true obscenity here.

  • Alice Bowie||

    What the hell? They let Sarah Jessica Parker's face on TV, and she looks like a foot!

    U people r MERCYLESS

  • Alice Bowie||

    The FCC should Charge GW Bush twice as much for the of HUMAN Decency

  • Paul||

    How do we get rid of the excretory organs at the FCC?

  • ||

    Ya...if you are woman and some kid walks in innocently while you are naked....do not react like they have just committed murder.

    That can fuck em up for life.

  • ||

    Lego is a front for the Viking Liberation Organization.

    I would be all about some liberated viking wimmenz, especially in skimpy swimwear.

  • ktc2||

    Yeah, the true "indecency" is that she covered herself up and made a big deal out of it at all.

    Unfortunately the boobs at the FCC will never get it.

  • ||

    They let Sarah Jessica Parker's face on TV, and she looks like a foot!

    Yes, Alice, we are mercyless (sic). Merciless to feet.

  • ||

    I am glad they got fined because that video is offensive to women, because it makes people think women want sex. It is all part of the hierarchical patriarchies oppression of womyn.

  • ||

    Amanda posted comment #69!!!

  • Robert||

    FCC is just arguably doing what Congress enacted way back in the 1st half of the 20th Century. "Indecency" is defined in the statue (subject to FCC interpret'n), and that means sexy or excretory stuff, not violent stuff, and FCC took 5 years to work on this complaint. Things go back & forth re FCC policy in enforcement, but the underlying statutory language is unchanged. They're just back now to where they would've been 40 years ago in their administration of this provision.

  • ||

    Amanda posted comment #69!!!

    That's hot.

  • ||

    And the buttocks are not an excretory organ. Or a sex organ. They are a spanking organ. A smooth, rounded, beautifully curved spanking organ. And some women can make them vibrate, especially when appearing on BET.

  • Other Matt||

    For information, not prurient interest, purposes, was this more or less than Janet Jackson's tit?

    Hell, by comparison, JJ's tit must be worth, say, $150K tops.

    And some women can make them vibrate, especially when appearing on BET.

    Hilarious.

    Hey, if buttocks are an excretiary organ(did I spell that right? Prob not), are the breasts a nutrient producing organ?

  • ||

    If the buttocks aren't an excretory organ, then breasts are definitely not sex organs, and even scrotums and montes veneris aren't sex organs, just the enclosure of sex organs. And if the enclosure of a sex organ is also banned from display, shows with bikini-clad women on them are in trouble, because only a thin layer of skin comes between our eyes and the ovaries if the upper hips are uncovered.

  • ||

    Whenever I try and imagine the FCC all I can get are six skinny middle-aged balding guys in over-sized suits tugging at their collars while sitting on bare metal folding chairs in a windowless room watching a flickering and multiple-spliced stag featuring a woman squatting to pee at a nudist colony.

  • Zeb||

    Wasn't it on after 10:00? I thought you could get away with most things on TV after 10.

  • ||

    Zeb,

    Depending on where it was broadcast, the stations either got fined or not. Eastern and Pacific - no; Central and Mountin - yes.

  • ed||

    If PBS shows a documentary about an Amazon tribe, they can show all the nudity they want. The subtext to the "tribal nudity" exception is "Third World people aren't really human".

    Fluffy is correct. Racist double standard.

  • ed||

    Of course, the FCC would claim that the Amazon Jungle Girls are not portrayed in a titilating manner, as if that were relevant.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    What the hell? They let Sarah Jessica Parker's face on TV, and she looks like a foot!

    Way to quote Peter Griffin of Family Guy, Episiarch! I believe it's from the same episode as an unforgettable song about the FCC.

  • ||

    This reminds me of when, for a time, Charlotte Ross was the hottest woman on television.

    Anybody remeber "Beggars and Choosers" from Sghowtime?

  • Vixen||

    Honestly, what is MORE OFFENIVE - the bare buttocks of a good looking woman OR David Caruso's acting????
    We suggest the FCC should look into David Caruso's acting FIRST!

  • critic||

    Vixen, that joke was almost funny the first two or three times, but your turn was a little repetitive.

  • Ashanti||

    Honestly, if I have to chose between Caruso's ugly skinny butt and Ms. Ross lovely ass I don't have think twice to chose.

    Could someone boot Caruso off the TV screen already!

  • Vixen||

    Could someone boot Caruso off the TV screen already!

    YES PLEASE!!!!

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