FCC Indecency

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Federal regulators have a warning for broadcasters. Don't use the F-word.

The Federal Communications Commission has overruled its staff and ruled an expletive uttered during an NBC awards show last year by rock star Bono was both indecent and profane. The commissioners made it clear that virtually any use of the word on over-the-air radio and television is inappropriate.

The commissioners did not propose fining Bono because they said they had never before declared that any use of the F-word would violate the rules.

The FCC's declaration yesterday came as the commission also announced three indecency fines for radio broadcasts, two against Infinity Broadcasting, including one for a Howard Stern show, and one against a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications.