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Federal court deals setback to FCC

A federal court has dealt a setback to the government's efforts to clean up the public airwaves. It has ruled that the FCC's obscenity policy is "divorced from reality." This incident at the 2003 billboard music awards was at the heart of the case: "Have you ever tried to get cow ____ out of a Prada purse? It's not so ____ easy." The FCC cited Fox for violating its indecency ban. The network appealed and the court agreed, saying it doubted the FCC could explain how its policy against the accidental use of profanities is not "arbitrary and capricious." In fact the court pointed out that President Bush used similar language in this exchange with Tony Blair last year caught on an open mike: "What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this __." And then there was this remark Bush made to Vice President Cheney on the campaign trail: "There's Adam Clymer, a ____ from the New York Times." The FCC imposed stricter rules on expletives after U2 singer Bono blurted this out at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards: "It's ____ brilliant." Fox applauded the court's ruling saying "the tougher regulation serves no purpose other than to chill artistic expression in violation of the first amendment." In a press release filled with examples of expletives FCC Chairman Kevin martin called the ruling disappointing saying, "if we can't prohibit the use of the words ___ and ___ during primetime, Hollywood will be able to say anything they want, whenever they want."

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