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Fox Flips Off the FCC

From the Washington Post:

In an unusually aggressive step, Fox Broadcasting yesterday refused to pay a $91,000 indecency fine levied by the Federal Communications Commission for an episode of a long-canceled reality television show, even as the network fights two other indecency fines in the Supreme Court.

The FCC proposed fining all 169 Fox-owned and affiliate stations a total of $1.2 million in 2004 for airing a 2003 episode of “Married by America,” which featured digitally obscured nudity and whipped-cream-covered strippers.

Fox appealed immediately after the FCC ruling. Last month — four years later — the FCC changed its mind, saying it would fine only the 13 Fox stations located in cities that generated viewer complaints about the program. That reduced the fine to $91,000.

Despite the sharp reduction, Fox said it would not pay the fine on principle, calling it “arbitrary and capricious, inconsistent with precedent, and patently unconstitutional” in a statement released yesterday. (source)

This isn’t as aggressive of a move as the Post seems to think. Fox has not exactly “refused” to pay, but has filed a motion for reconsideration. Given the fact that the FCC is ruled by a majority that is completely bat-shit crazy, I don’t imagine that they have it in their mental or emotional capacity to say “yeah, we were wrong.”

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