Thursday, January 15, 2009

When 18 Equals $59 Million

What percentage of nearly 300 million viewers who watched the Golden Globe Awards on NBC called into the Federal Communications Commission to complain about several “obscene” gestures and “objectionable” language this year? 20%? 15%? How about 10%

Nope, no, and not even close.

.000006% of all viewers (or 18 out of roughly 300 million) called or wrote the FCC to complain about, among other things, director Darren Aronofsky was caught on camera jokingly making an obscene gesture -- "flipping the bird," as it's commonly called -- at actor Mickey Rourke, who was onstage accepting an acting award for Aronofsky's film "The Wrestler.". But according to this article in the LA Times, that was enough of the American public being outraged to launch an investigation into NBC and it’s affiliates.

Uh....just how much is this investigation going to cost? Well it’s not clear how much each investigation costs, but for FY 09, the FCC has requested $59,818,300 for it’s “Office of Administrative Law Judges” which is the division of the agency charged with investigating these types of complaints.

Well for almost $60 Million they must have a huge staff working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Uh-uh. How about all that for a full time staff of five people.

You mean 50 people right?

Uh-uh....five as in 5.

Which leads me to wonder exactly what the threshold is for launching an investigation. How many people have to complain before this crack squad of government employees can begin their task with due diligence? Well if you take the above percentage and apply it to a say a local show where at most you have a million viewers tuning in to (say the 6pm local news) and you get a grand total of .06 people. Yep. That’s right. If just 1 person complains that Jim Vance just made a queer joke or that “Fat” Brett Haber just pulled out his “fattie” then by george we have ourselves a barn-burner.

Does this sound like responsible government? Nah I didn’t think so.

PS: I had to use the kid with the middle finger because damn it...he's cute

No comments: