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FCC Investigates Colbert
Good evening, I’m still reporting on Trump.
According to The Hill, late Friday afternoon, the FCC – the Federal Communications Commission – the people who are supposed to keep television programs from getting completely out of control – announced that they have opened an investigation into Stephen Colbert’s controversial jokes about President Trump.
Colbert, whose show has very low ratings and may be fearing for his future on television – decided to open the only route open to him – say anything – do anything to President Donald Trump.
The agency has received a number of complaints about Colbert’s recent treatment of Trump and, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the Commission has opened a comprehensive investigation of Colbert aimed at whether his remarks are considered “obscene.”
Chairman Pai said on a radio talk show on Thursday:
“We are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts and we’ll take the appropriate action.”
He said that typically in these cases:
“A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do.”
But a successful FCC investigation can mean doom for broadcasters on the edge with their networks.
Pai said that broadcast television is governed by two different rules – before 10pm – and after 10 pm.
Before 10 pm, the FCC can find fault with broadcasting considered “indecent.”
After 10 pm, the standard is raised to content considered to be “obscene.” The Colbert show airs at 11:35 pm on CBS.
The Supreme Court has defined “obscene”:
“It must appeal to an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a ‘patently offensive’ way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”
In my opinion, some of Colbert’s remarks were certainly obscene.
In our opinion, the FCC has to begin to draw its own red line before all standards of decency and civility are lost in the scramble for viewers no matter what the cost.
I’m still reporting from Washington. Good evening.