Censorship

Blurry Boobs, Butts Bother Bureaucrats

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Fox is refusing to pay a $91,000 indecency fine imposed by the Federal Communications Commission for a 2003 broadcast of the now-defunct reality show Married by America in which the naughty bits of strippers at a bachelor party were blurry but inferrable. The FCC conceded that "the pixelation of the female strippers' naked breasts and buttocks does render the material less explicit and graphic than it would have been in the absence of pixelation" but concluded that "the material is still sufficiently graphic and explicit to support an indecency finding." It initially imposed a fine of $1.2 million—$7,000 for each of 169 Fox stations that aired the show—but later decided to fine just the 13 Fox stations in cities where viewers had complained. Fox nevertheless remains defiant, saying the FCC fine is "arbitrary and capricious, inconsistent with precedent, and patently unconstitutional."

In my column last week I said the FCC should stop it already with the indecency nonsense. Now I'm having second thoughts. I never saw Married by America, but I feel pretty confident in suggesting that it was less entertaining than the bureaucratic brouhaha it generated. 

[via The Freedom Files]

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  1. I’ve always thought it was interesting that Fox News viewers are probably the ones making complaints about the programming on Fox.

  2. Clearly the FCC are the ones who are pixielated. (thank you Mr Deeds)

  3. Rupert Murdoch sure knows how to play the rubes: Make the smut, then have ORLY complain about it to get the rubes fired up.

  4. What an emotional quandary! Fox News has been fined in violation of the First Amendment with nothing resembling the due process protected by the Fifth. It seems that one ought to support Fox News on this. Wait a minute, this is the same Fox News that spreads propaganda supporting violations of almost every provision in the Bill of Rights. Maybe Fox should run for Governor of New York.

  5. Fuck the FCC!

  6. Grandpa Al Lewis | March 27, 2008, 5:54pm | #

    Fuck the FCC!

    But not in primetime.

  7. I’ve always thought it was interesting that Fox News viewers are probably the ones making complaints about the programming on Fox.

    You might be surprised just how many liberal moms harbor puritanical values in their dark hearts.

  8. You know what’d solve this problem once and for all?

    Burqas.

  9. The female body is inherently sinful! DO NOT GAZE UPON IT LEST YE BE CORRUPTED

  10. btw, nice alliteration, Jacob!

  11. Buddy, that’s cute, but inaccurate.

    Fox News is not being fined. Local Fox affiliates are being fined. Both come under News Corp. So does the Wall Street Journal. So does 20th Century Fox. So what?

  12. Wait a minute, this is the same Fox News that spreads propaganda supporting violations of almost every provision in the Bill of Rights.

    Yeah! Like all those times they had Judge Napalitano as their legal pundit…

    Or Kerry Howley on Red Eye…

    Or reason staff on O’Reilly.

    Oh, I see…you’re allowed freedoms only if you comport yourself to Buddy’s ideology!

    Libertarian Fascism, right?

    GFY.

  13. GFY…

    Graphitic Filament Yarn?

    Libertarian Fascism

    This, coming from the Randian. Please, someone wake me when one of the folks who has their own show on Fox News sneezes something remotely libertarian.

  14. wake me when one of the folks who has their own show on Fox News sneezes something remotely libertarian.

    Elemenope – that’s not remotely the point. Fox News doesn’t have to promote libertarianism to make its right to free speech defensible.

    The implication was because Fox News may not be the best mouthpiece for libertarianism, we should not support Fox News on this, which is ridiculous on its face and very undisciplined thinking.

    I mean, what’s this “eye for an eye” shit from Buddy, anyway? Fox News “gets what it deserves” because it doesn’t promote liberty? Jay-sus Christ.

    This, coming from the Randian.

    I have no idea what your implication is here. I’d like it if you explained yourself.

  15. …that’s not remotely the point.

    Agreed.

    Fox News doesn’t have to promote libertarianism to make its right to free speech defensible.

    Uh-huh.

    The implication was because Fox News may not be the best mouthpiece for libertarianism, we should not support Fox News on this, which is ridiculous on its face and very undisciplined thinking.

    Yep.

    I mean, what’s this “eye for an eye” shit from Buddy, anyway? Fox News “gets what it deserves” because it doesn’t promote liberty? Jay-sus Christ.

    Four for four. That’s not at all what I was commenting on. I was commenting on the patently ridiculous assertion you made that FOX news treats libertarian commentators as something other than circus freaks brought out to entertain the 3rd shift monkeys.

    I have no idea what your implication is here. I’d like it if you explained yourself.

    Libertarian fascism is about as close to a perfect summation of the type of mindset that Ayn Rand seems to be advocating in her novels. Like Heinlein, she may be smart as shit, but I sure as hell wouldn’t appreciate her as a next-door neighbor…it’s like she checked out of the human race (along with attendant baggage, like empathy, et al.) around the age of thirty and never looked back. Though at least Heinlein would be polite. Ayn, though, I’d be afraid that she’d try to rape my fiancee or something and then convince her it was her idea.

    And the idea that she has “followers” never ceases to crack me up. That one you can draw a map to yourself.

  16. Libertarian fascism is about as close to a perfect summation of the type of mindset that Ayn Rand seems to be advocating in her novels.

    Oh really? Care to back that up?

    And the idea that she has “followers” never ceases to crack me up.

    Oh, I see…libertarianism isn’t a statement on government and government’s proper and limited role, it has to be a WAY OF LIFE TOO!

    I suppose that no S&M freaks can be libertarian, because some of them lick boots (voluntarily)? What’s so “unlibertarian” about people admiring someone else?

    I’d be afraid that she’d try to rape my fiancee or something and then convince her it was her idea.

    Try not to project your fantasies while simultaneously making outrageous claims and besmirching the reputation of someone’s who has been dead for over 25 years.

    I’m starting to think it’s not the admirers of Rand who are obsessed: it’s her haters.

  17. 1. Fuck the FCC. Fuck them hard right in their asses.

    Having said that…

    Typically, after the FCC determines that a broadcaster is culpable for an indecency fine, the broadcaster pays it — by writing a check to the U.S. Treasury — or may attempt to negotiate a settlement, sometimes dragging the process out for years. Sometimes, a broadcaster will take a case to court. Other times, the broadcaster will pay the fine and appeal, hoping for a reversal and refund.

    Can a broadcaster simply refuse to pay the fine ? Even while request that the commission overturn the decision?

  18. What the hell are you guys talking about Fox News for anyway? This fine was for Fox the trashy broadcast channel. I’ve heard nearly all the top talking heads at Fox News come out explicitly against the stuff on the broadcast network, or criticize particular shows.

    Rupert Murdoch is a smart enough man to know that people want to watch trash on TV, then a little later change channels to watch a bunch of talking heads go on about how trashy our society has become. I tend to think the Fox broadcast and News networks are equally trashy, but in their own special ways.

    I’m starting to think it’s not the admirers of Rand who are obsessed: it’s her haters.

    Got that right.

  19. In my column last week I said the FCC should stop it already with the indecency nonsense. Now I’m having second thoughts…

    The road to serfdom… is paved by second thoughts.

  20. “the naughty bits of strippers at a bachelor party were blurry but inferrable”

    I think I am in a constant state of inferring the naughty bits of hot women…

  21. The female body is inherently sinful! DO NOT GAZE UPON IT LEST YE BE CORRUPTED[!]

    Too late….

    Maybe the female body should come with a disclaimer, lest every female body falls victim of a class action suit from all those corrupted victims.

  22. My favorite new trend is the blurring of animal genitalia on nature programs.

    Soon it will extend to the anus of kittens being covered with smiley faces.

  23. It’s amusing how political/news junkies tend to
    associate “Fox” with a cable news channel rather than the entertainment conglomerate that
    owns it. Fox News is but one fragment of a giant entity that includes the Fox Network, the
    FOX film and TV studios, the FX channel, MySpace, various satellite companies, and more.
    Only a fool could believe that Murdoch is a
    “conservative”, and his CEO, Peter Chernin, is
    a Hollywood studio chief who’s as liberal as they come.

  24. Try not to project your fantasies while simultaneously making outrageous claims and besmirching the reputation of someone’s who has been dead for over 25 years.

    Dude, don’t get me wrong. She was hot. She was also seriously fucked up when it came to sexual relationships; that’s not a slander, just a hard-up fact of life.

    As for besmirching her reputation, I’m pretty sure a salacious insult about her hotness would only improve her reputation in most circles.

    Mostly, it’s not a matter of how obsessed her haters are, it’s how many of them there are, it’s how diverse a lot they are. Me, I’m a philosopher by training, and so every time she rapes Kant or willfully rips off Nietzsche and twists him into a pretzel, I die a little inside. Most of the rest, politics included, is just risibly funny.

    Oh, I see…libertarianism isn’t a statement on government and government’s proper and limited role, it has to be a WAY OF LIFE TOO!

    I don’t think so. She did. That’s why she’s a tool and a hack; no sense of proportion or restraint.

  25. Dude, don’t get me wrong. She was hot.

    Ayn Rand was a lot of things, but hot wasn’t one of them.

  26. the naughty bits of strippers at a bachelor party were blurry but inferrable.

    You know what’d solve this problem once and for all? Burquas.

    “Naughty bits” are “inferrable” even with burqas.

  27. Ayn Rand was a lot of things, but hot wasn’t one of them.

    I dunno. From the pictures, there’s a 1950s mom-next-door quality to them. Then later, admittedly, she got creepy and old.

  28. On Discovery, I saw a show that takes place in
    an ER. A man is wheeled in on a gurney. He has
    had an off-road accident and there’s a hole in his chest the size of a soccer ball. A lung, a few ribs and a warped clavicle are seen quite clearly. But they blur his privates! Censorship
    merely brings attention to sex, even when it’s
    wildly inappropriate. When will they learn?

  29. You might be surprised just how many liberal moms harbor puritanical values in their dark hearts.

    Yup. One sleeping upstairs from me right now.

    I like to give her shit along the lines of alluding to her Falwellian values.

    Parenting may make you stupid in ways you could have never imagined as a non-breeder, (take it from me) but becoming a mother makes you just fukcing nuts.

  30. The FCC conceded that “the pixelation of the female strippers’ naked breasts and buttocks does render the material less explicit and graphic than it would have been in the absence of pixelation”

    So, go ahead and give me unpixelated boobs, already!

  31. I dunno. From the pictures, there’s a 1950s mom-next-door quality to them. Then later, admittedly, she got creepy and old.

    Even those early photos depend a lot on the right angle and lighting.

  32. Even those early photos depend a lot on the right angle and lighting.

    I did a Google Image search and realized that you are right after all. My prior sample size was woefully small and horribly biased. Makes you wonder how she could play all those sex games with Eric Sto…I mean, Nat Branden, while he was happily married to someone his, um, own age.

    On the plus side, now every time you do a search for Rand you get a metric fuck-ton of barely clothed Angelina Jolie pics because she is rumored to have agreed to be in a Rand novel-based flick that will in all probability never get made.

    So, there’s that.

  33. On the plus side, now every time you do a search for Rand you get a metric fuck-ton of barely clothed Angelina Jolie pics because she is rumored to have agreed to be in a Rand novel-based flick that will in all probability never get made.

    Haha, I found that too.

    Apparently, and I seriously am afraid at this, there’s going to be an Atlas Shrugged movie, and Jolie will play Dagny and…sigh…Brad Pitt will play…sigh…John Galt.

    Oh lord, that’s just going to be awful. On the plus side, Atlas Shrugged the movie has been rumored for decades, so yeah, it probably will never get made. Hopefully it won’t with Jolie and Pitt.

  34. “naughty bits” are you 12 years old? they are called TITS, BAZOOMS, THE RACK, HOOTERS, MAMMARYS, FUN BAGS, MELONS, YABOS…I could go on (and on) but I’ll restrain myself (unless I can pay someone else to do it)

  35. When is the FCC going to begin claiming it has the authority to censor the Internet?

  36. When is the FCC going to begin claiming it has the authority to censor the Internet?

    When a critical mass of cable modems is reached.

  37. Wow. No one standing up for Al Bundy’s entertainment value? A sad, sad day for HnR.

  38. You guys have fun with your network channels, as I got to see a naked Britishman form the 1700’s get tar-and-feathered with no pixelation.

    Funny thing too, I caught a glimpse of the man’s genitals, right before they dumped a bucket of scolding-hot tar on him, and I somehow managed not to whig out into a sex-crazed rampage…

  39. from the 1700’s…

  40. Funny thing too, I caught a glimpse of the man’s genitals, right before they dumped a bucket of scolding-hot tar on him, and I somehow managed not to whig out into a sex-crazed rampage…

    But it effects yore spellign, an thats’ cloose enough four U.S.

  41. I never saw Married by America, but I feel pretty confident in suggesting that it was less entertaining than the bureaucratic brouhaha it generated.

    Jacob, you don’t know what you missed. MWC was incredibly entertaining. A friend of mine who worked in Hollywood at the time confessed that he’d set his VCR to tape the episodes so he wouldn’t miss them.

    MWC’s whole original premise was “We’re not the Cosby’s”– i.e., an American family that was the dysfunctional polar opposite of the positive-values Cosby Show. The Cosby Show ran eight years. MWC ran ten. If you check IMDB you’ll see that the Cosby Show receives a very respectible 7.6 rating. MWC receives a whopping 8.7 rating. That’s entertainment.

    There were so many good shows, but I think my favorite episode was where Al Bundy’s clueless daughter Kelly is going to be on a quiz show, so Al coaches her with all the sports trivia he knows. Kelly’s brain eventually gets full, and each new factoid that comes in pushes something else out. It’s a concept that goes all the way back to Sherlock Holmes.

  42. MWC was incredibly entertaining.

    While I agree, that wasn’t the show Jacob was talking about. The post was about the reality show “Married by America”, not “Married with Children”

  43. So you’re guilty if you don’t bleep, but also if you do bleep because of what can be inferred was bleeped over? What if someone complained about Jimmy Kimmel’s clips of unnecessary censorship, where we’re left to similarly infer what was bleeped or pixelated?

  44. Qbryzan….

    Oh, I feel so stupid. “sigh”. Nevermind.

  45. lurker, it’s an understandable mistake, you weren’t even the first one on the thread to make it.

    It was still a good defense of the show, even if it was bit off-topic.

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