Political incivility ends up in FCC indecency complaint


A local political figure who has a talk program on Clear Channel newser WFMD-AM Frederick MD hosted a former elected official who used the occasion to label a third local politician with the dreaded “B” word. An attempt by the host to bleep out the word failed and the target of the insult has filed an indecency complaint with the FCC. We will divulge the precisely what the “B” word is for those who may be unsure and make the conscious decision to click through or read further to find out.

The program is “The Blaine Young Show” and the host, Mr. Young, is Frederick County’s County Commissioner President.

His guest on a 12/21/11 broadcast was a former state legislator, Anita Stup.

Stup was commenting on Frederick County Planning Commission’s Catherine Forrence. Stup said that during meetings, Forrence can “…be a bitch.”

Young said he hit a seven-second delay button in an effort to keep the word off the air to no avail.
Both Stup and Forrence apologized for the incident, but Forrence has nevertheless filed an indency complaint with the FCC.

WFMD is a Class B station on 930 kHz with 5 kW-D, 2.5 kW-N, DA2, which calls itself Frederick’s News Radio.

RBR-TVBR observation: The odds of the FCC finding fault for this particular word, which has meanings which are in no way indecent, and at a time where its very ability to enforce indecency regulation are being weighed by the Supreme Court, are slim.

Even if this was a word that would be actionable under indecency regulations, it shouldn’t be subject to a fine because its use was fleeting and the station – which was in the noble act of providing local news and information programming very much in the public interest – could have had no idea it was coming.

It illustrates precisely why the fleeting expletive exception for indecent content is an absolutely necessary protection that broadcasters must be able to rely on. The FCC impulsively stripped it away in its over-reaction to the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident, and we sincerely hope that the Supremes will agree with the findings of appellate courts that the protection must be fully reinstated and the FCC must come up with a clearer body of regulation.