Wednesday, October 13, 2004

FCC's Indecency Fines

The FCC is keen on its task of getting rid of indecency in television. Even the Fox television stations have fallen under their keen scrutiny:

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday proposed a record-setting $1.2 million fine against 169 Fox television stations for an April 2003 broadcast of "Married by America" that featured whipped-cream-covered strippers and digitally obscured nudity.
It is the agency's most recent ruling in its stepped-up effort to police radio and television. Complaints to the FCC are at an all-time high as viewers and lawmakers object to the increasing raunchiness of over-the-air radio and television, and broadcasters compete to keep pace with edgier cable programming.

Perhaps this is "a stepped-up effort to police radio and television". Especially as the lack of any kind of media fairness doctrine to enforce leaves the FCC far too much time to twiddle its thumbs otherwise. It's not indecent to do what the Sinclair group is doing: requiring its stations to show an anti-Kerry propaganda film just before the elections.

The overall question of indecency in the media deserves a longer post of its very own. I have a lot of questions and ideas about what indecency means, and I could see the fines used much more effectively against hate and violence and misogyny. But that post must wait for more time.