WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) — ABC is appealing the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to fine the Walt Disney network and 45 of its stations a total of $1,237,500 for airing scenes of a woman’s buttocks on a 2003 episode of “NYPD Blue.”
Five years after the fact, the FCC is fining ABC for showing the backside of a woman in an encounter with her lover’s young son. The visual joke, which is captured in the screen shot to the right, depended on portraying a very normal morning behavior, getting into the shower. Yet, this is what the FCC, which endorses greater and greater consolidation of media, spends fives years on.
The FCC is supposed to be managing the airwaves and cabled media in the public interest, not acting as a nanny to the television viewers of the United States.
The viewer can turn off what they don’t want to watch. But if the FCC lets three or four companies own all the media in the country, we won’t have a choice in the future. After all the progress of the past 60 years, it will be as though the major networks that gave us three viewing choices in 1960 have conspired to give us 500 variations on a single right-conforming puritan viewing choice in 2008.
UPDATE: I cross-posted this to my ZD Blog, where a lively comment argument is developing.