FCC to investigate Stephen Colbert over controversial Donald Trump joke


FCC chairman Ajit Pai said that his agency will be looking into complaints made against Stephen Colbert for what some labeled a homophobic joke about President Donald Trump.

"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 told Philadelphia's Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.

"Traditionally, the agency has to decide, if it does find a violation, what the appropriate remedy should be," he continued. "A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do." Pai was appointed to the FCC in 2012 by President Barack Obama. He was elevated to the chairmanship of the commission by Trump in January.

Pai's comments on Colbert are surprising as "The Late Show" airs outside the FCC's long-established "safe harbor" time frame of 6 am to 10 pm in which the commission has the authority to police allegations of indecent and obscene material on the airwaves. They would also seem to clash with Pai's vow to maintain a lighter regulatory environment for media overall.

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Colbert faced backlash following the Monday night airing of "The Late Show," during which he made numerous jokes about Trump during his opening monologue. Among them, he said, "The only thing [Trump's] mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's c–k holster." Colbert's mouth was blurred and the term was bleepded out for the broadcast, however.

Viewers took to social media to declare Colbert's joke homophobic.The hashtag #FireColbert began spreading around Twitter, along with calls for people to boycott sponsors of the late-night show.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said that his agency will be looking into complaints made against Stephen Colbert for what some labeled a homophobic joke about President Donald Trump.

"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 told Philadelphia's Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.

"Traditionally, the agency has to decide, if it does find a violation, what the appropriate remedy should be," he continued. "A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do." Pai was appointed to the FCC in 2012 by President Barack Obama. He was elevated to the chairmanship of the commission by Trump in January.

Pai's comments on Colbert are surprising as "The Late Show" airs outside the FCC's long-established "safe harbor" time frame of 6 am to 10 pm in which the commission has the authority to police allegations of indecent and obscene material on the airwaves. They would also seem to clash with Pai's vow to maintain a lighter regulatory environment for media overall.

Colbert faced backlash following the Monday night airing of "The Late Show," during which he made numerous jokes about Trump during his opening monologue. Among them, he said, "The only thing [Trump's] mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's c–k holster." Colbert's mouth was blurred and the term was bleepded out for the broadcast, however.

Viewers took to social media to declare Colbert's joke homophobic.The hashtag #FireColbert began spreading around Twitter, along with calls for people to boycott sponsors of the late-night show.

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