FCC indecency battle building

The battle over the FCC's indecency prohibitions is heating up.

Attorneys for KKMG Pueblo, Colo. Monday were planning to file their appeal of a $7,000 fine levied for airing Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady," which the agency's Enforcement Bureau last month ruled was indecent. Indecent broadcasts are forbidden between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when children are most likely to be listening. In another closely watched indecency case, an attorney for KBOO Portland, Ore. said they are wrapping the station's appeal of a fine imposed for airing "Your Revolution," a feminist rap the FCC sanctioned in May.

In the meantime, FCC Democrats are pushing the agency to step up examination of indecency complaints. On Monday, Commissioners Gloria Tristani and Michael Copps criticized the Enforcement Bureau's decision not to pursue a complaint against WDCG (FM) Durham, N.C. for a morning show broadcast in which callers allegedly were encouraged to masturbate. Both commissioners denounced the FCC's policy of dismissing complaints automatically if not accompanied by a tape or transcript.

To alleviate a burden that makes most indecency complaints impossible, Copps suggested the FCC investigate the feasibility of a "universal retention system" that could allow regulators to verify facts alleged in complaints. - Bill McConnell