On the heels of court filings by Fox, ABC and CBS, NBC joined its competitors last week in asking the Supreme Court to deny the FCC’s appeal of a lower court ruling. According to an article from Broadcasting & Cable, NBC is arguing that the FCC crackdown on indecency is “arbitrary, capricious and unjustified.”
While NBC is filing suit with fellow news stations, unlike ABC, FOX and CBS, the Peacock Network does not have any issues being cited by the FCC as “fleeting profanity.” The NBC issue being targeted is from March 2003 when U2 frontman Bono slipped in the f-word during a broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards.
Immediately following the incident, no fines were enforced. In October 2003, the enforcement bureau said, “Bono’s comment was not indecent or obscene because he did not use the word to describe a sexual act…The performer used the word … as an adjective or expletive to emphasize an exclamation."
Following pressure from Congress, in 2004 the FCC reversed its initial decision and claimed that Bono’s words were actually indecent because such language always has some sexual or excretory meaning.