ABC, which was hit a couple of weeks ago with a $1.4 million fine by the FCC, has decided to fight back.
The fine was imposed because of a scene in a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue that showed a woman’s buttocks and a bit of what the Celeb gossip sites all call “side boob.”
Just like NYPD Blue had been doing for 10 years. This time, however, it was different. I guess. And five years after the actual episode was broadcast — three years after NYPD Blue went off the air — the FCC came down with their oh-so-timely fine.
And the children, once again, are saved from the gruesome horrors of the naked female human body! Thank God. Or thank Wholly His Official Representatives on Earth, the children-loving, naked-woman hating Parents Television Council, who, as usual, decided to be offended so that the rest of us didn’t have to.
Luckily, the PTC are trained professionals, and after watching the video over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, they determined that it was a “graphic display of female nudity.”
And there is also this pre-emptive strike against anybody who dare push back against them:
Despite the TV networks’ scurrilous lawsuits claiming a â€˜right’ to air profanity, and that a striptease in the middle of the Super Bowl was somehow not indecent, this order should serve as a reminder to every broadcaster and every network that they must use the public airwaves responsibly and in a manner which serves the public interest.
That’s right, they’re still not over Janet Jackson’s “strip tease,” which was obviously these people’s 9/11.
And who gets to determine the public interest? The Parents Television Council, who are just one example of what I call Cultural Correctness: that the Culture at large must adhere to the narrow standards that they set or families and the children will be irreparably harmed. What this harm is, exactly, is never stated.
It’s kinda like the “Defense of Marriage” acts. What exactly are marriages being defended against by keeping gay people from participating? How exactly, will my marriage be harmed again?
In any event, the FCC, knowing full well that the complaints didn’t represent anything but .0000001% of the population, stalled and dithered and watched the video over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, and eventually gave in to the pressure from the only people in the entire universe who actually still cared and fined ABC.
And ABC, bless them, is fighting back.
First, they are appealing on theoretical grounds:
“The FCC’s action was inconsistent with the Commission’s own indecency standards, procedural requirements, and prior decisions; with the indecency statute; and with the First Amendment,” ABC said.
Not only are the so-called “standards” of the FCC ill-defined at best, their decisions are arbitrary and capricious, and often exist only to kowtow to their political allies and own personal beliefs as opposed to any true public interest. Or did I just read into that?
As far as the First Amendment goes, who cares about that, when awful gross naked women can appear on TV!
And, ABC is appealing on practical grounds.
“When the brief scene in question was telecast almost five years ago,” ABC said in a statement, “this critically acclaimed drama had been on the air for a decade and the realistic nature of its storylines were well known to the viewing public.”
Bingo! The irony here was that the entire point of the nudity here was show a situation where a young boy is confronted with an inadvertent naked female body. Did it kill him, or did the evil vessel of Satan naked body turn him into a deaf, dumb and blind pinball champ? After watching the video over and over and over and over and over and over, I have determined that it didn’t. Hang on, one more time . . . nope. Looks like surprise and embarrassment and perhaps some questions about shaving were all that were going to come out of the incident.
I pointed out, NYPD Blue had always pushed the broadcast envelope — on its very first episode there was a controversy over the phrase “pissy little bitch,” — and while I stopped watching it after the first season, I seem to remember reading somewhere that there were entire episodes based around Dennis Franz’ butt.
The point is, who tunes into NYPD Blue not knowing what to expect? Swear words and nudity have always been part of its nature. And even though it was on the air for dozen years, not a single child was ever harmed by it. Not a one.
Hmm, perhaps this fine isn’t for the particular incident, but rather a lifetime achievement award.
In any event, it would be nice, just once if — after the appeal is denied — ABC keep pushing this, just to see what happens.
What the hell, let it go all the way to the Supreme Court. I’d like to think that even the Roberts Court would have to side with the First Amendment as opposed to Cultural Correctness.