Roanoke TV station WDBJ is fined $325,000 for airing seconds-long clip from a porn video

From the FCC ruling against WDBJ…fcc

Nearly three years ago, Roanoke’s WDBJ-TV did a story about a former adult film star serving as a rescue squad volunteer. Its 6 p.m. news report included a very brief porn clip showing the actress stroking an erect penis. The FCC proposed today that the station be fined $325,000 for the inadvertent broadcast. Its ruling says:

The clip aired for approximately three seconds and thus its duration was not so brief as to preclude an indecency finding. Moreover, we find that the duration of the material was sufficient to attract and hold viewers’ attention; several complainants note that they viewed the material perfectly well.

A WDBJ photojournalist told the FCC: “When I recorded the screen shots off of a computer, I did not notice the small ‘boxes’ at the right of screen showing other films available from the distributor,” one of which showed the porn star/rescue squad volunteer in action.

The Roanoke Times reports WDBJ’s $325,000 penalty is the largest the FCC has ever enforced for a single indecent broadcast at a station.

* FCC hits WDBJ with $325,000 indecency fine (roanoke.com)
* FCC plans maximum fine against WDBJ for airing indecent material (fcc.gov)

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