Why, it's just "common sense," per the FCC, that buttocks are a sexual organ. Therefore, it fined ABC stations in the Central and Mountain time zones over a million dollars for airing -- nearly five full years ago -- an episode of NYPD Blue before 10 p.m. that indeed -- brace yourself -- briefly showed a woman's rear end. The offending moment came right at the beginning of the show, just moments after ABC's disclaimer that "this police drama contains adult language and partial nudity." Here's more from the WSJ:
After a brief lull, the Federal Communications Commission recommenced its battle against provocative television shows late Friday, proposing a $1.43 million fine against ABC and its affiliates for a February 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue."
The agency proposed the highest fine possible for the broadcast, which briefly showed the side and back of a naked woman getting into a shower. "Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law and common sense," the FCC said in its complaint. Some 52 ABC stations in the Central Standard Time and Mountain Standard Time zones were assessed a $27,500 fine for broadcasting the show. ABC's East and West Coast affiliates were not charged fines because they aired the broadcast at 10 p.m., which falls outside the 6 a.m to 10 p.m. period in which the FCC can fine stations for broadcasting nudity, overly suggestive scenes and obscene words. Although almost five years in the making, the FCC fine is notable for its size and because it could signal the beginning of a new round of indecency fines that may soon emanate from the agency. Link: FCC Seeks $1.43 Million Fine Over 'NYPD Blue' Episode - WSJ.com. The FCC's decision is here.