Civil Liberties

Back to You, FCC


A federal appeals court has spoken: The FCC can't punish a TV network when someone unexpectedly swears during a live broadcast. It's a common-sense decision, so naturally FCC chief Kevin Martin is unhappy [pdf]:

If ever there was an appropriate time for Commission action, this was it. If we can't restrict the use of the words "fuck" and "shit" during prime time, Hollywood will be able to say anything they want, whenever they want.

Commissioner Michael Copps, whose love for censorship makes Martin look like Larry Flynt, vows to fight on [pdf]:

The FCC has a duty to find a way to breathe life into the laws that protect our kids. That may entail an appeal of this decision. Certainly it includes strong enforcement action of the many indecency complaints before us that are untouched by today's decision. Enforcing the laws against indecency, profanity and obscenity must remain a Commission priority—America's families and children expect and deserve no less.

In real life, Michael Copps has five children. In his mind, he has 83 million.