[attrition] The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the
tyranny of the few
jericho at attrition.org
Mon Nov 15 19:20:07 EST 2004
Interesting story with references about 3 people "pressuring" the FCC to
fine Fox 1.2 million dollars for *suggesting* sex on a show that had
already been cancelled.
The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few
: With not much original reporting, I discovered that the latest big fine
by the FCC against a TV network -- a record $1.2 million against Fox for
its "sexually suggestive" Married by America -- was brought about by a
mere three people who actually composed letters of complaint. Yes, just
I filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Oct. 12 asking to see all
of the 159 complaints the FCC cited in its complaint against Fox.
I just received the FCC's reply with a copy of all the complaints -- and a
letter explaining that, well, there weren't 159 after all. William H.
Davenport, chief of the FCC's Investigations and Hearings Divison, admits
in his letter that because the complaints were sent to multiple
individuals at the FCC, it turns out there actually were only 90
complaints. It gets better: The FCC confesses that they come from only 23
It is shocking enough that what tens of millions of us are permitted to
see by our government can be determined by 159 ... or 90 ... or 23.
But it gets even better: I examined the complaints and found that all but
two of them were virtually identical. In other words, one person took the
time to write a letter and 20 other people then photocopied or merely
emailed it to the FCC many times. They all came from an automated
complaint factory like the one I write about here. Only two letters were
not the form letter.
So in the end, that means that a grand total of three citizens bothered to
take the time to sit down and actually write a letter of complaint to the
FCC. Millions of people watched the show. Three wrote letters of
More information about the attrition