Let6's kill broadcast TV
Stop at all costs
TV Stations Fined Over CBS Show Deemed to Be Indecent
By JULIE BOSMAN
Published: March 16, 2006
One day, broadcast TV will die behind this. Anyone with a good idea will just go to cable.
The Federal Communications Commission leveled a record $3.6 million fine yesterday against 111 television stations that broadcast an episode of "Without a Trace" in December 2004, with the agency saying the CBS show suggested that its teenage characters were participating in a sexual orgy.
The program was among nine cited yesterday for fines totaling about $4 million on agency accusations of violating decency standards between February 2002 and March 2005. The fines are the first indecency actions by the commission since Kevin J. Martin, a Republican, became chairman last March.
F.C.C. officials said the fines, which can be appealed, were intended in part to make clear what type of material is allowed under F.C.C. standards. The decisions were specific to the programs cited, and did not provide more general comments.
The orders were notable for the breadth of programming cited, from Spanish-language music videos to live award shows. Complaints against 28 programs were dismissed, but 20 shows were found to have violated decency standards. One show, "N.Y.P.D. Blue," was cited for indecency violations in eight separate episodes. Eleven programs were found to be indecent but were not fined.
The orders are in response to more than 300,000 consumer complaints about programming that viewers found indecent, profane or obscene.
Many complaints are lodged in large numbers by organized groups and not by independent viewers.
CBS defended the "Without a Trace" episode, saying the episode contained "an important and socially relevant storyline warning parents to exercise greater supervision of their teenage children."
The F.C.C. also upheld a $550,000 fine leveled at CBS for the Janet Jackson breast-baring incident during the halftime show at the 2004 Super Bowl.
In a statement last night, CBS said it continued to disagree that the incident was "legally indecent."
posted by Steve @ 12:42:00 AM