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Wednesday, 9 January, 2002, 09:49 GMT
Eminem radio fine dropped
Eminem performed Slim Shady at the MTV Awards 2000
The Federal Communications Commission has dropped plans to fine a US radio station for playing Eminem's The Real Slim Shady.

KKMG in Colorado had been threatened with a $7,000 (4,860) fine for broadcasting the song - despite editing out profanities in the lyrics.

We now conclude that the material at issue was not patently offensive

The FCC had argued that the editing was not sufficient, but backed down after representations from KKMG owners Citadel Communications.

The Real Slim Shady single and album won three Grammy Awards last year, including those for the best rap solo performance and rap solo album.

Another radio station in Wisconsin was fined $7,000 (4,860) for playing an unedited version of the Eminem song in 2001.


The broadcasting of obscene or indecent programming is against US law, and the FCC definition of indecent speech includes language that depicts or describes sexual organs or acts and is patently offensive "as measured by contemporary community standards".

The edited song satisfies "contemporary community standards"
But Citadel Communications argued that the references in KKMG's edited version of the Eminem song were not explicit enough to be offensive and were not used to pander to, or shock the audience.

After consideration the FFC rescinded the proposed fine.

FCC enforcement chief David Solomon said: "We disagree with our initial analysis and we now conclude that the material at issue was not patently offensive under contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium."

But the decision to cancel the fine has also been criticised.

One of the FCC's commissioners, Michael Copps, said on Tuesday the decision to cancel the proposed fine should have been made by the commissioners - rather than the FCC's enforcement bureau.

"In a matter of this importance, I believe the commissioners themselves, rather than the bureau, should be making the decision about whether to reverse the initial finding," he said.

Controversy has dogged - and, some would say, helped - Eminem's career.

The Detroit rapper, whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, has been much criticised for his songs, which his detractors say are violent, obscene and glorify rape, murder and homophobia.

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