FCC: We won’t collect on 2003 Fox fines
September 24, 2012
Most of the country has long since forgotten the 2003 Fox reality show “Married by America,” but the show remained central to the still-raging indecency debate.
It had, at least, until Friday when the Justice Department said it would no longer attempt to collect a fine levied on “America” under former Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin.
The decision follows a June Supreme Court ruling on indecency standards that knocked out certain rulings based on a procedural finding. The court declined to rule on the merits of the FCC’s indecency policy but did find that it was being arbitrarily enforced and defined.
That apparently led to Friday’s decision to stop trying to collect the $28,000 in fines that Fox still owed for “America,” stemming from images from a bachelor party that included pixilated nudity.
Fox-owned stations owed the money; most of the other 169 affiliates that were fined $7,000 apiece had already paid up.
The decision to drop the pursuit of the fines is seen as a change of direction for the FCC under chairman Julius Genachowski, perhaps because he’s eager to move on to more pressing matters.
The agency has more than a million complaints that have lain dormant while indecency cases wind their way through the courts, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Tags: America, bachelor, debate, fcc, federal communications comission, federal communications commission, fox, indecency, indecency complaints, Julius Genachowski, June Supreme Court, Kevin Martin, married by america, supreme court, The Wall Street Journal
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