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Supreme Court Empowers FCC to Clean Up TV

By citizenlink.com staff

'This is a step in the right direction to once again make television a safe form of entertainment.'

The U.S. Supreme Court decided Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the authority to protect families by punishing a television station or network for even "fleeting uses" of indecent language.

The Fox network had appealed an FCC order that found the live airing of one or two expletives violated its rules. Other networks joined Fox in asserting the right to air indecent language.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Fox in 2007. The FCC appealed to the nation's highest court, which ruled in favor of the FCC and sent the case back to the 2nd Circuit. 

"The decision, in a nutshell, affirms the right of the FCC to police the publicly owned airwaves for the most offensive language imaginable at the times we know millions of children are watching," said Dan Isett, director of public policy for the Parents Television Council.

The case centered around the 2002 Billboard Music Awards, where Cher uttered an expletive, and the 2003 Billboard Music Awards, where Nicole Richie uttered two.

"They had the ability to bleep out the segments," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America. "(But) the networks seem to want to challenge the FCC's ability to determine what goes into people's living rooms.

"This is a step in the right direction to once again make television a safe form of entertainment. There's still a lot of work ahead."

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Focus on the Family wants to help families create a safe media environment.



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