Wednesday, March 25, 2015

3.25.15 Bee-otch of the Day: FCC

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Name: Federal Communications Commission
Age: 71
Occupation: broadcast regulators
Last Seen: 
Washington, DC
Bee-otched For: giving a TV station a huge fine over an editing error
---In this post-Janet Jackson nip-slip world, TV stations are a little scared to show just the slightest inch of skin.

But in the case of the ironically-named WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, VA, they're learning the hard way that just because they think nothing indecent passes their screens doesn't mean that they're not gonna get caught by the big, bad FCC.

On Monday, the government broadcast regulators slammed the CBS affiliate with a Notice of Apparent Liability for showing indecent content on a 6 p.m. newscast in 2012. The report was on a former porn star who joined a volunteer rescue squad. However, during the report, they showed an image of a woman stroking a man's erect penis on an adult website. The small image was on the edge of the screen, and was only shown for three seconds.

The FCC is proposing fining WDBJ $325,000, the highest-ever indecency fine for an individual TV station.

According to WDBJ President and General Manager Jeff Marks, he claims that the image was only seen on certain TV screens because the person editing the video did not see the image on the editing bay. Marks has a point, since on my TV, I have several functions for 16X9 function. One is called "just scan", which shows the FULL picture while the 16X9 function does show some cutoff from the 16X9 image. For an example: if there's a full-screen graphic, sometimes, the top part or bottom part is cut off because that image was formatted on a machine for 16X9 images.

Confusion and total dorkiness aside, I think that WDBJ made a mistake, but shouldn't pay such an embarrassingly-high fine over something that's beyond their control. Even though I've tried to find the video story online, I couldn't find it. But, I think most TV stations are very careful about the news stories they air and they make sure nobody is offended. After all, the 6 p.m. news is a show for people ages 1-101 and older and younger.

I understand, some kids might have seen that cure porn star treating that man's cock like it was a Shakeweight, and WDBJ should have been given a slap on the wrist. $325,000 is a kick in the nuts for any broadcaster. Hell, I see occasional indecencies during the national news all the time. A few weeks ago during the NBC Nightly News, they showed a football player wearing a shirt with Tupac Shakur holding two middle fingers. Later in the broadcast, Brian Williams apologized for the incident (and it's not the only time he's apologized this year, don't we know).

Only in America, where a TV station can show a guy all bloodied from violence and it's no biggie, but God damn us all if an erect penis is shown. In other countries, it's OK to show nudity, but thanks to the religious reich, America gets laughed at when one saggy mammary is shown. This is why if I were president, the FCC would go bye-bye.

Besides, doesn't the FCC have better things to worry about, like a certain broadcaster with a ton of silent radio stations in Michigan and Texas who makes up excuses as to why those stations are silent? I don't think there's copper thieves or a broken pipe....


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