Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


L. A. Powe Jr.


The FCC reinvigorated the decade-old Pacifica indecency standard in a trio of cases involving Howard Stern's popular radio talk show, songs aired on a college station, and a play about two gays dying of AIDS who discuss their sexual fantasies over the phone that was aired on Pacifica's Los Angeles station. The trio maintains a surprising consistency with past commission behavior. First, it is the direct result of politics and the need to give the Republican right a victory. Second, it reestablishes what the original Pacifica action was meant to cover. Finally, it is yet another example of the belief that unlimited support for consumer preferences is a policy to be avoided.