Sunday, February 06, 2005


The FCC Establishes Some Boundries

Jeff Jarvis reports on recent rulings by the FCC, where it dismissess several (um, 36, actually) complaints from the Parents Television Council. We learn much from his compliation of these rulings, including:

A number of complaints cite isolated uses of the word “dick” or variations
thereof. In context and as used in the complained of broadcasts, these were
epithets intended to denigrate or criticize their subjects. Their use in this
context was not sufficiently explicit or graphic and/or sustained to be patently
offensive. Although use of such words may, depending on the nature of the
broadcast at issue, contribute to a finding of indecency, their use here was not
patently offensive and therefore not indecent. Similarly, we find that the
fleeting uses of the words “penis,” “testicle,” “vaginal,” “ass,” “bastard” and
“bitch,” uttered in the context of the programs cited in the complaints, do not
render the material patently offensive under contemporary community standards
for the broadcast medium.

Oh, yea, and it apparently was not obscene to show the buttocks of a male cartoon character (in this case, I believe it was Bobby Hill).

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