FCC Censorship

When the Federal Communications Commission fined Clear Channel Communications $27,500 last year for each of eighteen incidents of “indecent material” spouted by shock jock Howard Stern, it sure seemed like a lot of money. But in retrospect those fines look like chump change. On February 16th, the Bush administration won House approval for a bill that would raise the maximum FCC fine to $500,000 per violation. Under the new measure, Clear Channel — and Stern himself — could each have been fined a total of $9 million.
“Free expression and First Amendment rights are the real target of this legislation,” declared Rep. Bernie Sanders (Ind-Vt.) during the debate over the bill. “This is not what America is about.”
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