Rolling Stone magazine has confirmed what I had long suspected - that the FCC's language fines far exceed other governmental fines. The largest fine levied by the Nuclear (pronounced Nucular) Regulatory Agency last year was $60,000. The largest FCC fine? 1.2 million dollars, for Fox's "Married By America" bachelor party episode, in which all the bad words were edited out, and all the boobies were pixillated. A few years back, this 45-second-long ditty by Monty Python (MP3 download) garnered a $25,000 fine from the FCC, despite the fact that that the worst language in it is the phrase "Sit On My Face." And this was in the old days, before millions of American children were traumatized by being exposed to Janet Jackson's pasty for 11/32nds of one second.
A few weeks ago, I did my own brief survey of federal fines and came up with this list of non-FCC fines imposed by the Federal Government, so you can get some perspective on the current proposed laws to increase the fines for naughty phrases to half a million bucks each: