The Supreme Court handed down its ruling this morning in FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., which dealt with the government agency’s ability to issue fines against networks for indecency over the airwaves. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court announced that the FCC still has the authority to regulate indecency, but that the fines they levied for fleeting expletives (people saying swear words during live awards shows) and nudity (various butts on “NYPD Blue”) should be tossed because the enforcement of the policy was “too vague.”
Those are all the fancy legal words. But wait, you may be asking, what does all this really mean? Well, basically, it means the FCC overstepped the bounds laid out in its own policy. They can still oversee all the filth flarn filth on TV, but they need to be clearer about how and when they are going to dole out fines so the networks have a better idea of what’s OK and what isn’t, especially when it comes to live television. Or, to put it in simpler terms, Ernie Anastos can probably keep f-cking that chicken, but we’re still a long way from “Troy and Abed in the Motherf-cking Morning.”
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