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April 11, 2013
Column #1,650
FCC Asks “Want Nudity on Prime Time TV?”
By Mike McManus

“It’s the most egregious forfeiture of responsibility by the Federal Communications Commission,” asserts Pat Trueman. President of Morality in Media.

“First, they are bragging that they have reduced the backlog of citizen complaints by 70%, ditching citizen complaints by a million people about indecency on TV. The FCC threw them in the trash.

“Second, they are not just proposing a new standard on indecency, but are already implementing the standard.” Trueman is correct. The first paragraph of the FCC Public Notice states that the FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski “directed the Enforcement Bureau to focus its indecency enforcement resources on egregious cases.”

It then asks public comment on how to “treat isolated expletives.” This is the Obama Administration, elected mainly by singles, backing away from traditional family morality.

Consider an earlier FCC case, involving the 2003 Golden Globe Award case. When Bono got the award he said it was “f… brilliant.” And when Nicole Richie made the following unscripted remark while presenting a BillBoard Music Award: “Have you ever tried to get cow s*** out of a Prada purse? It’s not so f***ing simple.” There was a third similar incident involving the F word.

In those cases, the Commission found the use of the F-word actionably indecent.” Why? The Commission held that the word was “one of the most vulgar, graphic and explicit descriptions of sexual activity in the English language,” and thus found “any use of that word or a variation, in any context, inherently has a sexual connotation.”

The Supreme Court reviewed the cases and concluded, “the Commission’s new indecency enforcement policy neither arbitrary nor capricious.”

In a case of nudity, in the finale of Super Bowl 38, Justin Timberlake sang, “gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” and he tore away a portion of Janet Jackson’s dress, exposing her breast to the tens of millions – including millions of children. The FCC fined CBS $550,000 for broadcasting the nudity.

Another case involved the show “NYPD Blue” broadcast by ABC, entitled “Nude Awakening.” The episode broadcast at 9 p.m. on February 25, 2003, showed a woman wearing a robe, entering a bathroom. With her back to the camera, she removed her robe, thereby revealing the side on one of her breasts and a full view of her buttocks.

During the scene, a child portraying her boyfriend’s son entered the bathroom. She is shown naked in front of the shower, her back to the camera. As he enters, she quickly turns to face him. The camera initially focuses on her face, but then cuts to a shot taken from behind and through her legs with the boy staring at her.

The Commission determined that “[t]he female actor’s nudity is presented in a manner that clearly panders to and titillates the audience.” The Commission imposed a forfeiture of $27,500 on each of the 45 ABC-affiliated stations that aired the indecent episode, or $1.24 million for seven seconds of salacious nudity.

The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of indecency per se, but overruled the imposition of fines on CBS and ABC because the FCC had not given the networks sufficient notice of its intent to take such a stand. However, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “It is now clear that the brevity of an indecent broadcast – be it word or image – cannot immunize it from FCC censure…Any future `wardrobe malfunction’ will not be protected…”

It was a muddled decision. It would have been better if the Court had upheld the fines. But Roberts wrote, “The networks have now been forewarned. There should be no more episodes of F-word expletives or `brief nudity’ on prime time network television.”

So why does the FCC want a new standard now? Why does it ask, “should the Commission treat isolated (non-sexual) nudity the same or differently than isolated expletives?”

I saw the bathroom scene, and it was indeed sexual and arousing. The Commission was right that it “panders to and titillates the audience.” FCC’s reasoning was upheld by the Supreme Court. Why is it asking for the changing of its own standard?

Chairman Genachowski was appointed by Obama, a President who does not believe in enforcing laws he disagrees with, such as the Defense of Marriage Act.

The unmarried liberals who voted for Obama don’t want laws against obscenity and indecency enforced. Obama’s Justice Department has not filed one case against obscenity in five years. It wants nothing to do with indecency, or soft core porn, either.

However, the FCC is asking for public comment. Please make one, using this link: 

Take this column to your church and ask hundreds to file their opinions as well.

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