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Ex FCC Officials Call Redskins Name An Obscenity

From a seemingly unfazed Politico:

Former FCC officials: Washington Redskins name ‘indecent’

By BROOKS BOLIEK | April 5, 2013

The Washington Redskins name, long accused by many of being an offensive moniker to Native Americans, may also be flat-out indecent, according to some former FCC officials and public interest advocates.

In a letter to Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, former Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Nicholas Johnson, and others contend that an indecency case could be made against broadcasters who air the offensive name.

“It is impermissible under law that the FCC would condone, or that broadcasters would use, obscene pornographic language on live television,” they write. “This medium uses government owned airwaves in exchange for an understanding that it will promote the public interest. Similarly, it is inappropriate for broadcasters to use racial epithets as part of normal, everyday reporting.”

Never using the team’s name, they chastise broadcasters for using a name that is equivalent to the “n-word.”

“XXXskin is the most derogatory name a Native American can be called. It is an unequivocal racial slur,” they write. “As The Washington Post’s Mike Wise pointed out, ‘America wouldn’t stand for a team called the Blackskins — or the Mandingos, the Brothers, the Yellowskins, insert your ethnic minority here.’”

Hundt also pens [sic] an op-ed in The Washington Post saying broadcasters have the power to force Snyder’s hand.

“If broadcasters follow their tradition, they will insist that Snyder no longer put them in the intolerable position of using a derogatory term to describe his team," Hundt writes.

He told POLITICO that it’s time for the commission to take action.

“The FCC should hold a hearing,” he wrote in an email “It would be on ESPN. Shame the name.” …

While obscene speech has no constitutional protection, indecent speech does. Under the law, FCC rules and court decisions, the commission can fine broadcasters for airing indecent speech outside of the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. safe harbor.

Material is indecent if it "in context, depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium." Under current law, broadcasters face a fine of up to $325,000 per incident and could lose their licenses to operate.

What could be more ‘obscene’ than former officials suggesting the government try to destroy a team by punishing broadcasters for just saying the name of a team. A name that was given to honor Indians.

Anyway, we still like the idea of changing the team’s name to the Elizabeth Warrens. Nobody could complain about that.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, April 8th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Ex FCC Officials Call Redskins Name An Obscenity”

  1. canary

    Native American Indians used to be proud to call themselves Red Skins, Chief Crazy Horse, Running Bear, and they should be proud a team was named in a complimentary way portraying them as brave warriors.


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