[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 19 March, 2004, 09:10 GMT
US TV watchdog banishes swearing
Bono 's outburst came at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards
US broadcasting regulators have launched a crackdown on bad language on television and radio.

The Federal Communications Commission ruled that NBC violated a federal law when broadcasting an expletive by U2 singer Bono during an awards ceremony.

The regulating body decided against imposing fines against NBC.

But in a separate development it fined a Detroit radio station $15,000 for comments made by DJ Howard Stern. Two other stations face similar fines.


Bono's comments came as the band won best original song at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards.

The FCC overturned its own earlier decision that the outburst was not indecent because the expletive was used as an adjective rather than in a sexual context.

"This sends a signal to the industry that the gratuitous use of such vulgar language on broadcast television will not be tolerated," said FCC chairman Michael Powell.

Howard Stern
Howard Stern has been at the centre of several controversies

NBC expressed regret for the broadcast, but said it was not liable under the rules in place at the time.

"Bono's utterance was unacceptable and we regret it happened," said a statement from the broadcaster.

FCC commissioner Michael Copps, who is among those calling for a tougher stance against bad language, said: "This may not be a case where a revocation of license is in order.

"But neither is it a case that warrants no penalty at all."

The fine for Howard Stern's comments was issued against Infinity Broadcasting - a company owned by Viacom, which also owns MTV and CBS. It is the latest of many controversies surrounding the disc jockey.

A study released on Thursday by the Center For Public Integrity - a US government watchdog - said almost half of the $4m (2.2m) fines issued by the FCC since 1990 involved stations airing Stern's show.

'Shock jock' slams Janet backlash
27 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Shock jock Stern's show dropped
26 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Bono's TV swearing 'not offensive'
07 Oct 03  |  Entertainment


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific