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Comm'r McDowell's Statement on Supreme Court's Indecency Decision

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Released: June 21, 2012

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

June 21, 2012

Brigid Calamis (202) 418-2200

STATEMENT OF FCC COMMISSIONER ROBERT M. McDOWELL

ON THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT’S DECISION IN

FCC v. FOX TELEVISION STATIONS, INC.


The following statement can be attributed to Commissioner Robert M. McDowell:
“Today, the Supreme Court held that the FCC failed to provide fair notice that Fox’s airing of
fleeting expletives and ABC’s broadcast of brief nudity during an NYPD episode would trigger
enforcement action and, therefore, the indecency standards as applied to these broadcasts were
impermissibly vague. The FCC must expeditiously implement the Court’s decision to put an end
to years of litigation and uncertainty regarding the Commission’s regulation of indecent content
on America’s airwaves. As a matter of good governance, it is now time for the FCC to get back
to work so that we can process the backlog of pending indecency complaints – which currently
stands at just under 1.5 million involving about 9,700 TV broadcasts. Some of these complaints
date back to 2003. We owe it to the American public and the broadcast licensees involved to
carry out our statutory duties with all deliberate speed. I look forward to working with the
Chairman, my Commission colleagues and FCC staff to reduce the backlog of indecency cases,
along with more than 300 license renewal applications that have remained pending in light of
this litigation, as soon as possible.”

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