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FCC Commish Tate — Asshat of the Week

This post comes with a soundtrack provided by the Meatmen. Listen to this song as you read this entry.

Last week, the FCC imposed a fine of $1.43 million against ABC for daring to show the side and back of a naked woman getting into a shower on NYPD Blue. (source)

The FCC’s briefing said:

“Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law and common sense.”

Lemme get this straight…. case law determines what is a sexual organ? And common sense tells us that the buttocks are a “sexual organ”????

Here is the comment that gets Ms. Tate the Asshat award:

“Our action today should serve as a reminder to all broadcasters that Congress and American families continue to be concerned about protecting children from harmful material and that the FCC will enforce the laws of the land vigilantly.” (source)

If the FCC wants to rely upon case law, here is some for them:

“Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection.” ACLU v. Gonzalez, 2007 US DIST LEXIS 20008 (E.D. Pa. 2007)

And if we want to speak to the issue of common sense… I hope that Commissioner Tate is run out of Washington as soon as possible. Any person who thinks that the sight of buttocks is “harmful material” from which children need protection (and that the “laws of the land” do not include the First Amendment) has no right to serve this country. Perhaps once her neo-con benefactor is finally out of office, a nice government in Iran or North Korea would have use for her services?

Buttocks… buttocks… I love buttocks…. ” (The Meatmen, We’re The Meatmen… And You Suck! – Touch And Go Records 1983)

Related post: Fox v. FCC – Is Common Sense and Liberty Coming Back Into Vogue?

Also, see Dr. Marty Klein’s take on this issue here: Obsessed With Asses, FCC Screws America

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