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FCC: Bono remark was indecent

19 March 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

WASHINGTON -- The FCC took a string of actions Thursday as the government continued its crackdown on broadcast smut as the commission decided that an expletive uttered on the air can be so vile that it runs afoul of the nation's indecency laws. The decision, along with a string of other indecency actions issued Thursday, sends a signal that the government's get-tough campaign designed to cut out on-air raunch isn't going to end soon. The core ruling in the commission's announcements was one that overturned a staff decision that Bono's use of a variation of "fuck" during a Golden Globe Awards telecast wasn't indecent and profane. The commission also proposed fining Infinity Broadcasting $27,500 -- the current maximum for a single indecency violation -- for a Howard Stern Show broadcast on WKRK-FM in Detroit and a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications $55,000 for a broadcast on two Florida radio stations during which the host conducted an interview with a couple allegedly having sex. It also reaffirmed a $7,000 fine against another Florida Infinity station for airing indecent material in 1999. NBC and its affiliate stations escaped a fine, however, because the panel said it was changing a long-term FCC policy that said individual words were not automatically indecent speech. »

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