Fox Television, the National Association of Broadcasters and the Federal Communications Commission were all quick to comment on the decision of the Second Circuit shooting down the FCC’s rules on fleeting indecency. With the ball in its court, the FCC’s response was unsurprisingly noncommittal.
According to Reuters, Fox stated, “While we will continue to strive to eliminate expletives from live broadcasts, the inherent challenges broadcasters face with live television, coupled with the human element required for monitoring, must allow for the unfortunate isolated instances where inappropriate language slips through.”
The NAB indicated its support for the decision. “NAB supports today’s appellate court decision,” said EVP Dennis Wharton. “As broadcasters, we will continue to offer programming that is reflective of the diverse communities we serve. We believe that responsible decision making by network and local station executives, coupled with program blocking technologies like the V-chip, is far preferable to government regulation of program content.”
In responding to the decision, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was terse, to say the least. He said, “We’re reviewing the court’s decision in light of our commitment to protect children, empower parents, and uphold the First Amendment.”