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FCC Looking Into Colbert's Joke About Trump, Putin

Philadelphia (CBS) - FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave his first interview with The Rich Zeoli Show on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT since watching the video of Stephen Colbert's joke about Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, saying that they have received complaints and are looking into the matter.

"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."

He promised a comprehensive investigation to determine if any penalty is warranted.

"We have received a number of complaints, as I said, and we'll follow the standard operating procedures, as we always do, and make sure we evaluate what the facts are and apply the law fairly and fully."


Zeoli, asking about the free speech implications of Colbert's joke, said, "you haven't been a guy who has gone after speech though like the FCC Chairmen in the 1980's who used to go after Howard Stern all the time. You're not that kind of an FCC Chairman." Pai responded,
"we have the rules on the books that I'm duty bound to enforce and I'm committed to enforcing them."

If they decide to take action, Pai said the most common penalty is a fine.

"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."

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