From Chris Jonsson:
This is one of the many ways the GOP can control our media content. If a broadcaster says something negative about the administration, just slap them with a fine for indecency on some other vague issue that may have passed before, but now is considered profane by fundamentalist fanatics.
The Price for On-Air Indecency Goes Up
Congress Approves Tenfold Increase in Fines FCC Can Assess
By Frank Ahrens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 8, 2006; D01
The maximum penalty for broadcasting indecent material on radio and television will increase tenfold to $325,000 under legislation passed by the House yesterday that awaits only a promised presidential signature.
The bill, called the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, was passed unanimously by the Senate last month and cleared the House by a vote of 379-35. President Bush has vowed to sign the bill into law; it would allow the Federal Communications Commission to powerfully punish over-the-air broadcasters for airing raunchy content. The bill keeps cable and satellite broadcasters outside of the government’s authority to police the airwaves.
Yesterday’s vote culminates a three-year culture clash among lawmakers, regulators, broadcasters, interest groups, lawyers and ordinary consumers about what can and can’t be said on radio and television, and how much authority the government should have over artistic expression and free speech.