Buzzmachine has the story. A 1.2 million dollar fine was levied against fox for indecency. The FCC says that it really only fines when there is public outcry against a particular show. It has to do this because of their fuzzy definitions of indecency. Of course few people would consider 23 people a “public outcry”. When it comes right down to it, 3 people actually composed letters which were then photocopied and sent multiple times by 20 people for a grand total of 90 complaints.
Michael Powell comes off as a smart guy when interviewed. He’s obviously well educated and well spoken. What is not obvious is the source of the FCCs renewed push to fine indecency. In the wake of the Janet Jackson scandal, the FCC has said there was evidence a conspiracy took place to reveal the breast and that that justified their fines in that case. But they have not released any evidence to the public. Freedom of Information Act requests are required to get that out of them. Jeff Jarvis did just that and uncovered the flimsy “public outcry” in the fox case. It will be interesting to see what the FCC has really been using to justify its actions.
The FCC needs a big overhaul and given the current administration it will take nothing less than a scandal to make that happen. Thank goodness that Jeff Jarvis has the resourcefulness to do some due diligence on this instead of just rolling over as the rest of the media has.