US Supreme Considers Policy on Cursing, Nudity on TV

Posted January 10th, 2012 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider whether government regulators can police the airwaves for indecent program content.

Justices on Tuesday will hear arguments in the case which pits the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against the country's television broadcasters.

The case questions the FCC's policy of fining broadcasters for isolated incidents of foul language and nudity between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Broadcasters are seeking to overturn a 1978 ruling which upheld the FCC policy. A federal appeals court later declared it “unconstitutionally vague”.

Networks argue that the current FCC policy is difficult to navigate and unfairly applied, particularly when broadcasters are fined for “fleeting” expletives made by celebrities during live televised award shows and not when airing certain movies or documentaries.