Reversing an earlier ruling, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has concluded that a comment uttered by U2 singer Bono during the 2003 Golden Globe Awards show on NBC "violated the statutory

Reversing an earlier ruling, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has concluded that a comment uttered by U2 singer Bono during the 2003 Golden Globe Awards show on NBC "violated the statutory prohibitions of indecency and profanity." Bono used the phrase "f***ing brilliant" during the show, which was broadcast live.

NBC ducked a fine, however, because the Commission is in the midst of revising its rules on indecency, profanity and obscenity.

The new decision, issued yesterday (March 18), comes after the FCC granted the Parents Television Council a petition to review the incident.

The FCC's enforcement bureau originally found that the broadcast had not violated the indecency prohibition because Bono's remark was "fleeting and in [spoken in] a non-sexual context."

Subsequently, the commissioners overruled the bureau decision, saying that the exemption when the f-word is used fleetingly is "no longer good law."

The commission, in its ruling, emphasized that "all broadcast licensees are on clear notice that similar broadcasts in the future will lead to forfeitures and potential license revocation, if appropriate."

The FCC also proposed a fine of $55,000 against Capstar TX Limited Partnership for broadcast of indecent material over Florida radio stations WAVW-FM in Stuart and WCZR-FM in Vero Beach. Capstar's parent company is Clear Channel Communications (CCC). The FCC said it was proposing the maximum fine "due to the history of indecent broadcasts by other licensees controlled by" CCC.

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