/// Supreme Court Tosses Broadcast Indecency Back to FCC

June 21, 2012  |  Media Week

After all the teeth-gnashing and nail-biting over how the Supreme Court might address the First Amendment issues plaguing the Federal Communications Commission's broadcast indecency rules for years, the court turned around Thursday and tossed it all back in the FCC's lap. In a very narrow opinion, the court unanimously decided that the FCC failed to give Fox or ABC fair notice prior to their network broadcasts that fleeting expletives (on Fox) and brief nudity (on ABC's NYPD Blue ) would be considered indecent. The ruling dodged the big constitutional issues, such as whether the FCC's broadcast indecency rules—first set 33 years ago with George Carlin's “seven dirty words” monologue—violate the First Amendment. “It's not the worst result for broadcasters, but it's not the most favorable one,”


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