No Network Yet for Profanity Hearings


A C-SPAN spokesman said Wednesday that no network has yet requested access to its coverage of oral arguments in broadcaster's challenge to the FCC's March profanity rulings.

The court Monday granted C-SPAN's request to televise the Wednesday, December 20th arguments. C-SPAN has not yet decided whether or not to air the arguments live, though it has scheduled a 9:15 p.m. airing for Wednesday night of the tape. The editorial side favors live coverage, though there is said to be some logistical difficulty in doing it live from New York. And speaking of Saturday night, C-SPAN will re-air it Saturday, Dec. 23,at 7 p.m. as part of its America and the Courts series.

Broadcasters are arguing that the FCC's profanity findings against swearing on Fox's Billboard Awards in 2002 and 2003 is arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional. The FCC says it was reasoned and within the regulatory authority granted it.

How the appeals court sees it will help set the stage, combined with the Third Circuit hearing of CBS' Janet Jackson appeal, for a possible Supreme Court challenge to the FCC's indecency enforcement authority.