Senate Commerce Votes to Restore FCC’s Ability to Fine for Single Indecent Utterance
July 20, 2007
The Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill that would direct the FCC to fine broadcasters that air a fleeting or single indecent utterance.
Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) introduced the bill. Commerce Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and ranking member Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) co-sponsored the bill, which would require the FCC to maintain a policy that the broadcast of a single word or image may be considered indecent.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin praised the vote, which he said, “affirmed the commission’s ability to protect our children from indecent language and images on television and radio. Significantly, members of Congress stated once again what we on the commission and every parent already know: even a single word or image can indeed be indecent.”
We reported in June a federal appeals court told the commission it had not justified this portion of its indecency rules.
The bill now goes to the Senate floor.