By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 2-16-17
Ajit Pai gave his first TV interview as chairman of the FCC to Fox Business Network and said he would investigate indecency complaints against CBS, NBC or anyone else if they were presented to him.
Pai appeared Thursday on the 2 p.m. hour of The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan.
Regan cited an F-bomb on Saturday Night Live and Adele’s F-bomb on the Grammys and asked if the FCC would be investigating them for “this kind of stuff.”
“If we are presented with complaints, we are duty bound to enforce the law,” he said, “and the law that is on the books today requires that broadcasters keep it clean so to speak.” Pai said he took that FCC obligation seriously.
Actually, broadcasters are only required to do so at times when the FCC has determined that children are most likely to be in the audience, which is 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
But Pai did suggest he would be watching what broadcasters say on air, per FCC indecency rules on the books, adding: “[A]s a parent, I want to make sure that my kids have a wholesome experience when they are watching programs like that.”
If the FCC did investigate those, it would likely not take any action given that (1) SNL airs after 10 p.m., when broadcasters can air profanity and nudity without repercussions beyond the input of their viewers, the latter of which is likely the reason broadcasters don’t suddenly act like cable nets from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. when indecent content is not actionable, and (2) CBS spokesfolk told B&C that while Adele did indeed swear on the awards show, their tape delay caught it and it did not go over the airwaves. » Read More