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KRON(TV) Fined $27,500 For Indecency

KRON(TV) Fined $27,500 For Indecency

As Congress sharpens its focus on broadcast indecency, the FCC has proposed a fine of $27,500 for KRON(TV), San Francisco for apparently violating the broadcast indecency rules. The case stems from Oct. 4, 2002, when the station aired “Puppetry of the Penis,” with performers who appeared in capes, but were otherwise naked. Apparently one of the performers exposed his penis on camera. Although that incident occurred for less than one second, it was graphic and explicit, and that’s why the station was fined.
All five commissioners voted on the issue. FCC Chairman Michael Powell said it showed the agency has increased its focus to curb broadcast indecency. “I believe it is irresponsible of our country’s programmers and broadcasters to continue to try and push the envelope in the face of commission policies aimed at balancing the needs to protect our children with the interests of the First Amendment.”
Commissioner Kevin Martin said the case served to remind people that broadcast indecency doesn’t only occur on radio while Commissioner Michael Copps said letting the case languish for more than a year shows the agency isn’t serious about enforcing the broadcast indecency rules.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House telecommunications subcommittee, chairs a hearing on broadcast indecency Wednesday. He’s introduced a measure to significantly raise the fines for broadcast indecency violations.