Tags: Donald Trump | Colbert | Joke | FCC

Former FCC Lawyer: Colbert's Trump-Putin Joke Can't Be Prosecuted

Image: Former FCC Lawyer: Colbert's Trump-Putin Joke Can't Be Prosecuted
Stephen Colbert (Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 08 May 2017 11:44 AM

A top Washington attorney says Stephen Colbert and CBS are off the hook over the late-night funnyman's off-color quip about President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Robert Corn-Revere, a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine who once worked as the FCC's chief counsel, told The Wrap:

"Broadcasts after 10 p.m. are not actionable under the rules [for indecency]. "Obscenity is illegal any time. But there is no legitimate obscenity claim here."

Last Tuesday, Colbert, host of CBS' "The Late Show," used his opening monologue to take aim at Trump, implying the commander in chief had engaged in fellatio with Putin.

"You talk like a sign language gorilla that got hit in the head," Colbert said of Trump. "In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's cock holster."

His remark referred to what some believe is Trump's allegedly too-cozy relationship with the Russian strongman. Colbert also said of the billionaire businessman, "Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine. You have more people marching against you than cancer."

A day after the controversial crack, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told Newsmax TV that CBS and Colbert were likely protected by the First Amendment.

"People are willing and able to say just about anything these days," he told Newsmax's Steve Malzberg. "By and large . . . the FCC, outside of our indecency rules, we don't get into the business of regulating content."

Pai -- who was appointed to the FCC in 2012 by President Barack Obama and promoted to chair the commission by Trump in January -- added: "It's a free country."

But two days later, Pai told Philadelphia's Talk Radio 1210 WPHT the FCC would be looking into complaints it had received about the Colbert broadcast.

"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 to WPHT's Rich Zeoli.

"Traditionally, the agency has to decide, if it does find a violation, what the appropriate remedy should be. A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do."

Soon after the Colbert joke, which some branded as homophobic, a campaign to get him axed from his show was launched on Twitter under the hashtag #FireColbert.

Colbert has defended himself, telling viewers: "I don't regret that. I believe [Trump] can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it's a fair fight."

The FCC definition of indecency includes cracks that appeal to "an average person's prurient interest" or which "depict or describe sexual conduct in a 'patently offensive' way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
US
A top Washington attorney says Stephen Colbert and CBS are off the hook over the late-night funnyman's off-color quip about President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Robert Corn-Revere, a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine who once worked as the FCC's chief...
Colbert, Joke, FCC
484
2017-44-08
Monday, 08 May 2017 11:44 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved