Indecency, censorship, and the news
I've been pretty flippant about this whole indecency/FCC/fines fervor thus far. This doesn't mean that I haven't been disturbed by it, but some of the uproar has struck me as downright comical. I just have such a hard time getting my head around the idea of "fuck" as inherently profane, for instance, that I have had a difficult time taking all of this seriously. Yet the results of all of this are quite serious. The effects on censoring entertainment culture are important-- but perhaps the effects on news media make the stakes more clear:
CBS affiliates are telling the Federal Communications Commission that unless it changes its ruling about profanities on-air, many will have to stop doing news outside of the 10 p.m.-6 a.m. safe harbor for indecent speech.
Noncommercial stations, meanwhile, argued that the decision has caused them to significantly self-censor for the first time.
The CBS stations move would mean an end to many morning, afternoon and newscasts, which are ironically just the sort of local service the FCC otherwise encourages.
Free Press News : Some CBS affiliates could drop newscasts