Wednesday, June 06, 2007

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin responds to ruling on "fleeting expletives"

FCC Kevin Martin has responded to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals' decision on "fleeting expletives," which not only went completely against the FCC but suggested that the grounds for the FCC's authority to regulate indecency on the broadcast airwaves may no longer exist. Here's part of what he had to say:
I completely disagree with the Court’s ruling and am disappointed for American families. I find it hard to believe that the New York court would tell American families that “shit” and “fuck” are fine to say on broadcast television during the hours when children are most likely to be in the audience.

The court even says the Commission is “divorced from reality.” It is the New York court, not the Commission, that is divorced from reality in concluding that the word “fuck” does not invoke a sexual connotation.

Here's Daniel Drezner's response:

1) Did Martin write this himself or did people with actual training in press relations whip this statement up?

2) By the FCC's interpretation, is Martin is obnoxiously hitting on erveryone who reads his statement?

3) Am I obviously encouraging rape and bestiality when I say, "F#$% Kevin Martin and the horse he rode in on?" or could I have a different intent in mind?

4) As [Jonathan] Adler asks, "Given the Second Circuit's ruling, could a network air Martin's remarks without fear of federal sanction?"

Read Drezner's full post here.

UPDATE (April 28, 2009): The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the 2nd Circuit in a 5-4 decision.

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