Different Takes Here on FCC Ruling

July 14, 2010  |  

(Chicago Sun Times) — Free speech just got a big vote of confidence from the United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. A ruling by the appeals court on Tuesday shot down a long-standing Federal Communications Commission policy that said “a single, non-literal use of an expletive (on air) could be actionably indecent.”

If it stands, the appeals court ruling means radio and television stations and other broadcasting companies no longer will have to worry about getting hit with fines that could range from thousands to potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars for any action or utterance on air the FCC might deem “indecent.” The appeals court ruling also said the FCC’s on-air indecency policy “effectively chills speech because broadcasters have no way to know what the FCC will find offensive.”

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