The FCC chairman calls the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the agency’s indecency ban against random, single utterances of the S- an F-word “a big win for America’s families.”
FCC Chairman Michael Copps praised the Supreme Court for backing the agency on fining broadcasters for airing so-called fleeting expletives — that is, random utterances of the S- and F-words during live broadcasts.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision in Fox is a big win for America’s families,” the chairman said.
Although the high court upheld the indecency policy, overturning an appeals court decision, it stopped short of ruling on whether it violated the constitutional rights of broadcasters. Fox, which had been fined under the policy, had challenged it on First Amendment grounds.
“The court recognized that when broadcasters are granted free and exclusive use of a valuable public resource, they incur enforceable public interest obligations,” Copps said.
“Although avoiding the broadcast of indecent language when children are likely to be watching is one of those core responsibilities, few can deny the blatant coarsening of programming in recent years.
“The court’s decision should reassure parents that their children can still be protected from indecent material on the nation’s airwaves.”