The Washington Post’s Lisa deMoraes has an analysis of the FCC’s flip-floppery regarding “the Cheney word.”
In its decision Friday, the FCC noted that it doesn’t have the authority to slap CNN with an indecency fine because it’s, hello, a cable network, and the commission does not regulate indecency and profanity on cable and satellite subscription services. Not yet, anyway.
But the FCC added in its statement – as though it were on the payroll of Fox News Channel or something – that viewers who wish to selectively block “unwanted television programming” do have a number of tools available. Options include demanding that a cable operator block programming, or demanding a “lock-box” from their local cable operator to selectively block “unwanted material” themselves, the FCC explained.
Cheerfully ignoring that pesky non-authority thing, the FCC went ahead and determined that Mischer’s use of the Cheney Word was not obscene because CNN’s telecast was not hard-core pornography, and did not appeal to “prurient interest” or lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
Interestingly, the FCC did not get around to addressing whether Mischer’s use of the Cheney Word on CNN was “profane” or “indecent.”
Another FCC Ruling You Shouldn’t Swear By, WaPo.