New York Times calls on FCC to revamp indecency regs


New York TimesVenerable newspaper The New York Times believes that the message sent by the Supreme Court to the FCC is to try to brighten the lines in its body of indecency regulation. It says the Commission should get to work ASAP.

The viewpoint was stated in a 6/22/12 editorial that mirrored RBR-TVBR’s similar interpretation that the effect of the Court ruling should properly be seen as a call for the FCC to go back to the drawing board.

The opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy did underscore the FCC’s authority in the matter of indecency enforcement – but it also underscored the FCC’s rules are clear enough to be followed.

That part of the opinion was of course secondary to the main part, in which Fox and ABC were let off the hook on fleeting infractions due to the FCC’s sudden departure from its long-standing enforcement of such infractions. It wound up being a Fifth Amendment rather than a First Amendment case.

NYT said, “In setting aside those particular F.C.C. rulings, the Supreme Court strongly hinted that the commission should ‘modify its current indecency policy’ in light of the public interest and to meet constitutional requirements. The commission should take that suggestion immediately.