About this Author
Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.
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| When is Indecency Regulation "Censorship"? »
May 04, 2004
FCC Receives Numerous Complaints About Oprah Show
Howard Stern has been the FCC's indecency whipping boy for some time. After the latest series of fines, however, he asked his listeners to complain to the FCC about an episode of Oprah's talk show that included rather graphic descriptions of sex acts. The Smoking Gun has received copies of more than 1600 complaints about that episode thanks to a FOIA request (FCC Swamped With Oprah Indecency Complaints). It is impossible to know which complaints are real, but many of them are downright hilarious:
I had just returned with my 3-year-old twins from Bible day camp when I turned on the show ... Tell me, Mr. Powell and Mr. Copps: How would you explain the concept of a "tossed salad" to your kids?
The Oprah show ... was so offensive that my child's head literally exploded. Please ban free speech so this never happens again.
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all your hard work trying to take down such evils as Howard Stern.... next, please, oh please, go after that Mother of Harlots, Oprah....I will send a list of books next that I think you should look into.
I am writing to you as a very concerned elementary school teacher ... While watching this program, all I could think about were my 3rd grade students home from school, viewing these vulgar conversations about sex: at 4:30 p.m.! .... In teaching government to my students, I'm finding it very difficult to be honest. How do I teach the notion of "Freedom of Speech"???
Recently on the Oprah Winfrey Talk show ... acts of sexual nature were described in detail without the presence of a medical doctor ... Thank you for your time, ... Registered Republican
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