FCC had been warning Fox News over its use of explicit language. For instance, during the course of a program, the celebrity Nicole Richie stated, “Have you ever tried to get cow s*** out of a Prada purse? It’s not so f***ing simple.” Similarly, ABC News was not only warned but rather a fine was levied against it by FCC for displaying the bare bottom of an actress on TV.
FCC had been hoping to dwell on the First Amendment to somehow win the case. However, the court was none the wiser for this and decided not even to take up First Amendment questions. This was because the court believed FCC had been trying to police morality on these channels via very vague guidelines.
One of the landmark cases regarding free speech and broadcasting remains a 1978 Supreme Court decision which was about the ‘Filthy Words’ monologue by George Carlin. However, the judge over-looking the case, which include Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Ruth Ginsburg, agreed that citing that case was no use since it was out of date.
By lambasting FCC and annulling its objections to nudity as well as explicit language over vagueness in guidelines, Supreme Court pretty much trashed the case and refused to go to the First Amendment questions, something which FCC really wanted. According to SC, FCC didn’t give these broadcasters clear enough rules before filing against them.
Source: Supreme Court
Courtesy: Paid Content