The case of FCC v. Fox Television Stations was heard at the Supreme Court yesterday, in which the FCC is trying to overturn the loss it suffered at the hands of the Second Circuit. According to the Los Angeles Times, the arguments have been made, and some of the justices have been heard from, and ultimately, the results are unknown for now.
Chief Justice John Roberts indicated that he supported the FCC, saying that there were ample options for individuals who do not mind edgier programming, and that the broadcast airwaves should remain expletive-free. Roberts did say context was a factor, and that an offensive word picked up in the background at a sporting event would not be in the same league as the awards show indiscretions of Cher, Bono and Nicole Richie. He was joined by Antonin Scalia, who went so far as to blame broadcasters for the “coarsening” of society.
But John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg seemed to take Fox’s side in the matter – Ginsburg in particular noted the FCC’s erratic enforcement history and the deference that should be accorded to the First Amendment.
RBR/TVBR observation: Again, we see somebody blaming broadcasting for the ills of society. As far as we’re concerned, Scalia has the burden this time. You say that America is what it is because of broadcasting? For reasons far too numerous to list here, we find that to be an utterly preposterous notion. But if that’s what you believe, prove it, Your Honor.