It is highly unlikely that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will fine late-night host Stephen Colbert for an obscene joke he made about President Trump last week, experts say, despite remarks by the agency’s chairman about reviewing complaints filed on the broadcast.
Colbert raised eyebrows with a joke during one of his monologues in which he suggested that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin engaged in sexual acts.
“You talk like a sign language gorilla who got hit in the end. In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c–k holster,” the comedian said, with the profanity bleeped out.
The joke prompted criticism from conservatives, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was asked about them in multiple media interviews in the days following. He told Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto that he hadn’t seen video of the joke, but that the FCC would look into any complaints it receives, as it does with all objections filed to the agency by television viewers.
On Thurdsay, he told Philadelphia’s Talk Radio 1210 WPHT something similar after he had finally watched the clip.
“I have had a chance to see the clip now and so, as we get complaints, and we’ve gotten a number of them, we are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts and we’ll take the appropriate action,” Pai said.
“We have received a number of complaints, as I said, and we’ll follow the standard operating procedures, as we always do, and make sure we evaluate what the facts are and apply the law fairly and fully,” he said later, adding that the most common penalty would be a fine.
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