Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More Filthy Language to Airwaves via Court Ruling

Parental rights advocates, anti-pornography activists and at least one current member of the Federal Communications Commission joined forces Tuesday in condemning a three-judge appeals court panel for declaring unconstitutional the FCC's ban on indecency during prime-time TV hours.

UPDATE 8/27/10: Feds appeal court ruling

-- From "The FCC's decency dilemma" posted at Los Angeles Times 7/14/10

A federal appeals court has delivered another setback to the Federal Communications Commission's six-year crusade against expletives on broadcast television, declaring the commission's latest indecency rule to be unconstitutionally vague. Unless it's overturned on appeal, the ruling will force the FCC to try again to lay out clear boundaries for on-air programming. That's been an exercise in futility for the commission in recent years — not just because it's hard to regulate TV programs without violating the 1st Amendment, but because today's technologies render even constitutionally defensible regulation moot.

The Supreme Court upheld the FCC's procedures last year, leaving the constitutional issues for a later day of reckoning. That day arrived Tuesday, and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals' opinion was blistering. The three-judge panel found that the rule has chilled protected speech, including live broadcasts and news programs. Broadcasters have "no way of knowing what the FCC will find offensive." More ominously, the court suggested that the way the rules were drawn, the FCC could use the policy to discriminate against programs it didn't like while absolving ones it did.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Court Decision Striking Down Broadcast Indecency Ban is ‘Anti-Family,’ Says FCC Commissioner Copps" by Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor 7/14/10

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps condemned the decision as “anti-family.”

“I am shocked by such an anti-family decision coming out of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals,” Copps said in a statement. “Sadly, the court focused its energies on the purported chilling effect our indecency policy has on broadcasters of indecent programming, and no time focusing on the chilling effect today’s decision will have on the ability of American parents to safeguard the interests of their children.”

Patrick A. Trueman, former chief of the Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, said the decision by the New York-based court seems “foolish on its face.”

“How is the American public to understand that federal judges don’t know that use of the “F-word” is indecent during prime-time television?” Trueman asked.

“This ruling only increases the public’s belief that government is out of touch with the public and out of step with the U.S. Constitution,” he added.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.