The FCC thinks the V-chip isn’t much help in preventing kids from seeing programs that may have dicey content. And in a filing to a federal court last week, FCC lawyers say that the commission itself plays something of an in loco parentis role to help parents, even if parents won’t help themselves.
The commission said it was only trying to give broadcasters more guidance on its definition of indecency in ruling that Fox’s Billboard Awards live telecasts in 2002 and 2003 were indecent.
Although the FCC says those utterances-“fuck” by Cher in 2002 and “fucking” and “shit” by Nicole Richie a year later-violated FCC rules, no fine was levied. That’s because the incidents happened before the FCC gave notice that it was cracking down on “fleeting expletives” in the wake of U2 singer Bono’s use of the phrase “fucking brilliant” on a live Golden Globes telecast on NBC in 2003.