Wednesday, July 18, 2007

U.S. Panel is Expected to Pass Broadcast Indecency Bill

Jim Puzzanghera writes in The Los Angeles Times:

The battle over dirty words shifts back to Congress on Thursday.

A committee is expected to pass legislation authorizing regulators to enforce a nearly zero-tolerance policy on the broadcast of certain expletives that was struck down last month.

The bill would give the Federal Communications Commission explicit authority to make "a single word or image" indecent. The FCC ruled in March 2006 that almost any use of the "F word" or "S word" was indecent, even in live, unscripted instances.

Broadcasters sued, saying the FCC had contradicted a long history of exempting so-called "fleeting" uses of the words and were infringing on their First Amendment rights. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the policy, ruling narrowly that the FCC had failed to justify it.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., who has been outspoken about the cleaning up the airwaves, wrote the bill to overcome the court ruling.

More here.


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