KCSM-TV in San Mateo is facing a $15,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission for repeated use of the f-word and s-word during a 2004 PBS documentary on blues musicians. “(T)he gratuitous and repeated use of this language in a program that San Mateo aired at a time when children were expected to be in the audience is shocking,” the FCC said in a Notice of Apparent Liability (pages 23-27) posted on the agency’s web site yesterday (March 16). KCSM admitted that the words were used before 10 p.m., after which obscene language is allowed in many cases. In its defense, KCSM said in a letter to the FCC: “[T]he intent of the program is to provide a window into [the world of the individuals being interviewed] with their own words, all of which becomes an educational experience for the viewer.” The doucmentary would have inaccurately reflected the viewpoints of those who were interviewed if the s-words and f-words were edited out, the station said. KCSM is licensed to the San Mateo County Community College District, a tax-funded agency whose board is elected by voters countywide. The TV station previously operated on Channel 60, but now only has a digital TV signal and provides a feed to cable systems and satellite companies. [The FCC also levied fines against CBS for its infamous 2004 Super Bowl broadcast where Janet Jackson revealed her breast and for an episode of “Without a Trace” that was deemed to be obscene. The FCC notices can be found at http://www.fcc.gov/]

SF Press Club News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>