Viewer comments on programming plunge

It may not be all quiet on the broadcast indecency front, but there isn’t much noise, either.

Viewer complaints about naughty programming dropped massively in the third quarter of 2007, according to the latest data from the Federal Communications Commission.

While the second quarter of 2007 saw 4,368 complaints come into the agency, the following quarter logged a mere 368 — precisely 4,000 less. During the first quarter, nearly 150,000 complaints came in.

Not that the FCC can do much about any of them at the moment. Legal challenges to the commish’s authority over both language and nudity are pending — including one in the Supreme Court. Those cases have effectively suspended the FCC’s indecency actions, pending the outcomes.

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has the challenge involving nudity. Oral arguments occurred late last summer, but the court has yet to indicate when it will rule. The Supreme Court has not yet skedded the case involving language but should do so some time this fall.

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