Colbert Under Investigation for Trump Joke

Chairman Ajit Pai says FCC will 'take the appropriate action'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2017 6:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – The FCC is now investigating the joke that launched a wave of #FireColbert tweets and think-pieces this week. The Hill reports FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says they've received "a number" of complaints about a joke told by Stephen Colbert on The Late Show this week. During an angry monologue Monday in which Colbert insulted President Trump as payback for Trump insulting a journalist, Colbert concluded with: "The only thing your mouth is good at is being Vladimir Putin's c--- holster." Following the backlash, Colbert said he didn't regret the joke but may have reconsidered the wording.

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Now Pai says the FCC will determine if Colbert's joke meets the Supreme Court definition of "obscene," in which case it will "take the appropriate action"—most likely a fine. The official definition of obscene, as quoted by Slate: “It must appeal to an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a ‘patently offensive’ way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” The Daily Beast reports the FCC announced its investigation a day after Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto asked Pai about doing exactly that. Cavuto wondered if there was some way the FCC could "regulate or at least police offensive comment," noting "a lot of people" want Colbert fired. (Read more Stephen Colbert stories.)

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