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August 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Saying that a federal appeals court’s recent ruling overturning its rules on “fleeting expletives” makes it “all but impossible” to enforce its decency rules the FCC on Thursday asked for a rehearing of the case. FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick said that the court’s decision “raised serious concerns about the commission’s ability to protect children and families from indecent broadcast programming.” In July, the court ruled: “By prohibiting all ‘patently offensive’ references to sex, sexual organs and excretion without giving adequate guidance as to what ‘patently offensive’ means, the FCC effectively chills free speech, because broadcasters have no way of knowing what the FCC will find offensive.” In a statement, Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, which has deluged the FCC with complaints about offensive content, praised the commission for its decision to appeal the ruling: “Without further court action, the Second Circuit ruling would kick down the door for indecent content to be aired at any time of the day over the public airwaves — even in front of children,” Winter said.