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Copps Slams Infinity and FCC Vote

Copps Slams Infinity and FCC Vote

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps dissented in the WKRK case described above and issued a statement calling the fine a “financial slap on the wrist.”
He said the Infinity station had “aired some of the most vulgar and disgusting indecency that I have had the misfortune to examine since I joined the commission. The station presented graphic descriptions of violent sexual acts against women as entertainment at a time when children likely composed a significant portion of the audience.
“The extreme nature of this broadcast – among the worst we have faced in the commission’s history – and the fact that it was broadcast in the middle of the day, gives the FCC the responsibility to take serious action,” he said.
“Such a fine will easily be absorbed by the station as a ‘cost of doing business,'” Copps wrote. He called for a hearing to determine whether the station should have its license revoked.
“Our tepid action today will not dissuade these types of broadcasts in the future. The message to licensees is clear: Even egregious violations will not result in revocation of a license.”
Copps also had strong words for Infinity.
“The majority (of commissioners) … fails to mention that this is not the first action against a station owned by Infinity,” he wrote. “Infinity stations were fined $1.7 million by a previous commission in 1995 to settle a series of indecency cases. As part of that settlement, Infinity agreed to take steps to prevent further broadcast of indecent material.
“But more complaints involving other broadcasts followed.” He cited the more recent “Opie & Anthony” case in New York, still under investigation.
“I wonder when this commission will finally take a firm stand against broadcast’s ‘race to the bottom’ as the level of discourse on the public’s airwaves gets progressively coarser and more violent.”