DWF, on Mar 1 2004, 04:06 PM, said:
But let's be clear here. The FCC cannot prevent such things from happening except to the extent that their reputation precedes them. (Similarly, all the law enforcement officers in the world can't prevent a man from murdering his wealthy uncle. They can only respond to the act.) If the FCC has a reputation for being lax about offensive material (and it does) and levies no fines at those who allow obscenity out over the public airwaves (and quite often it doesn't), then more broadcasters will feel that they, too, can help contribute to the coarsening of society. To my knowledge, laws about broadcasting (and it's been quite awhile since my broadcast law classes*) haven't changed much, but the FCC is seen as a pretty toothless agency. Perhaps now, with a bit of well-placed public pressure, the FCC will feel empowered to act against broadcasters who violate community standards.
*I still remember Dr. Bob hammering home the notion that the FCC will fine you if you let obscenity out over the air, although such a notion seems quaint in the current climate.