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Broadcasters ask for more time on FCC indecency proceeding

FCC LogoThe National Association of Broadcasters has asked the Federal Communications Commission for a 30 day extension on a proceeding requesting feedback about the agency’s indecency rules. The FCC launched the proceeding following the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the Commission’s policies against “fleeting expletives,” basically dirty words said on the fly. The high court said that the FCC gave inadequate notice to broadcasters before citing them for breaking these prohibitions.

The NAB writes:

We observe that previous changes to the Commission’s indecency policies nearly a decade ago proved controversial and ultimately produced multiple legal challenges and appeals court decisions, as well as two Supreme Court decisions. Because changes in indecency policies pursuant to this Notice may prove similarly controversial – and certainly raise significant First Amendment and other questions – the comment period must be sufficient to provide all interested parties the time and opportunity to consider and present their views.

A smart move, I think. The proceeding docket continues to fill up with comments urging the FCC to punish radio and TV stations for any and all indecencies, real and imagined. One of my favorites: “Dear Sir. Please do not drop current broadcast decency standards. I’m tired of looking at human body parts hanging out.”

Free advice: don’t look. Here’s one of the few relatively pro-free speech comments I’ve found:

I have had enough of the excessive censorship in the media whether it’s on the TV or the Radio! Many Americans just do not like their work being watered-down and we enjoy the entertainment value of uncensored material which you are unfairly blocking!

Your role should be very limited go after the people who produce kiddy porn or scenes of real actual murder or rape!

You see. our society is backwards because in England they censor violence while they let curse-words and nudity slide. But. what do we do? We let violent content air on TV, while we block harmless little curse-words and simple nude bodies, that won’t blind you afterall!

Thank you for your time. Please think this over in a consideral manner. Think long and hard. and try watching TV and see how watered-down it is.

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