Skip to main content

View Diary: How to take action against Limbaugh at the local level (128 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Indecency (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ipsos, adrianrf
    The FCC has defined broadcast indecency as “language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities.” Indecent programming contains patently offensive sexual or excretory material that does not rise to the level of obscenity.

    There is thus a two-pronged test.  In other words, to be actionably indecent, the broadcast material must: patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium; and

    2. must relate to sexual or excretory organs or activities.

    Limbaugh's comments clearly relate to the real or imagined sexual activities of Ms. Fluke and her fellow students.  However, whether the statements were patently offensive in the sense that the FCC uses that phrase is another matter.

    The FCC employs three factors when determining whether broadcast material, in context, is patently offensive:

    1. How explicit or graphic the material was;

    2.. Whether the material dwelt on or repeatedly described sexual or excretory organs or activities; and

    3. Whether the material pandered to, titillated, or shocked the audience.

    The FCC engages in a balancing act, case by case, in making this determination.  The material need not satisfy all three factors.  One or two of them might weigh heavily enough to result in a finding that the material broadcast was patently offensive.

    Limbaugh's statements about Ms. Fluke certainly have been vile, obnoxious, disgusting and offensive.  They have not been graphic and detailed.  Whether the FCC might find that he dwelt on or repeatedly described the real or imagined sexual activities and that the material pandered to, titillated, or shocked the audience, and therefore whether the material was patently offensive and therefore indecent are interesting questions to ponder.

    •  Awesome, Thanks I sent this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Federal Communications Commission
      Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
      Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
      445 12th St., SW
      Washington, DC 20554

      On Thursday afternoon, March 1, 2012, on station (your local Rush Limbaugh radio station(s)) during the third hour of "The Rush Limbaugh Show", Rush Limbaugh, broadcasting over the public airwaves on the AM band, having previously in the same broadcast called a woman named Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute", said the following:

      RUSH: "So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

      Having heard Mr. Limbaugh’s above remarks in context, and knowing that they were broadcast over the public airwaves, I wish to register a complaint with the FCC.

      My complaint alleges:

      1) Mr. Limbaugh's broadcast demand for Ms. Fluke to produce and post online pornographic videos of herself engaged in heterosexual intercourse using contraceptives with multiple partners "so we can all watch" meets the FCC's three-pronged obscenity test.

      2) The broadcast was referential to sexual activity, specifically heterosexual intercourse using contraceptives, and behavior – the solicitation by a stranger on the public airwaves of pornographic videos –that is patently offensive by community standards and thus was indecent.

      3) Mr. Limbaugh's obscene, indecent remarks were preceded in the context of the full broadcast by explicit, titillating descriptions of how often Ms. Fluke had sexual intercourse, which Mr. Limbaugh repeated and dwelled on at length, before finally requesting, purely for the sake of his own titillation and that of his audience, that she produce and post pornographic videos for him to watch.

      4) Mr. Limbaugh's obscene, indecent remarks are sanctionable under the statuatory authority and standards of the FCC.

      This complaint meets the FCC enforcement threshold. It alleges Mr. Limbaugh broadcast over the public airwaves obscene and indecent sexual material between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., local time. Specifically that Mr. Limbaugh obscenely and indecently described and depicted his wish that Ms. Fluke produce and post online videos depicting herself engaged in sexual intercourse while using contraception provided by Mr. Limbaugh, "so that we can all watch."

      A full transcript of The March 1, 2012 Rush Limbaugh Show is available at In and out of the full context of the transcript, Mr. Limbaugh's on-air proposition to Ms. Fluke is obscene and indecent. Indeed, when the above quote is heard or read in the full context the case for sanction is strengthened.

      I hope that the Federal Communications Commission's Enforcement Bureau will take appropriate enforcement action in this matter regarding The Rush Limbaugh Show, Mr. Limbaugh,  (Station Call Sign) and all other responsible entities or individuals involved who are subject to FCC regulations and oversight. Thank you for your time in this matter.


Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site