Fox Refuses to Pay FCC Fine

Back in February, we reported that the FCC was fining 13 different FOX affiliates for airing an episode of the quickly cancelled reality TV show "Married by America" that included graphic (but digitally blurry) scenes of bachelor and bachelorette parties. The FCC was originally going to fine all 169 FOX owned affiliates for airing the show, but instead decided to fine only the cities that had complaints lodged against it.

But the Washington Post is now reporting that in an incredibly balsy move, FOX has decided that they will not pay the fine and have told the FCC to go pound sand.

OK, they didn't exactly use those words, and instead called the fine "arbitrary and capricious, inconsistent with precedent, and patently unconstitutional," but I like "Go pound sand" a lot better.

FOX is definitely not making many friends with the FCC. In addition to fighting the "Married" case, they are also going all the way to the Supreme Court over the use of "fleeting expletives" in live shows:


The FCC had previously declined to fine television stations for "fleeting," or one-time use of, profanities, but reversed itself in 2004 after initially ruling that the same word, when uttered by singer Bono during a live show in 2002, was not indecent. The decision was followed by a torrent of viewer and lawmaker scorn, and the FCC changed its policy, saying even such fleeting profanities can bring a fine.

Keep in mind that most, if not all of this "torrent of viewer scorn" comes from the good 'ol Parents Television Council. Those uber-conservative naughty word Nazis that enjoy telling the rest of America what they should and shouldn't be watching on TV.

Meanwhile, FOX continues to say that its not paying the fine, while the FCC stands there whimpering that no one seems to take it seriously. This naturally does not please the PTC, whom you can expect to be working hard to pull the strings of its little puppet federal agency they seem to have in their back pocket.

This should make for some interesting news.

As always, stay tuned.

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