Published: Mon, August 19, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Jimmy Kimmel Live! fined $395000 over anti-Trump skit

Jimmy Kimmel Live! fined $395000 over anti-Trump skit

American late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! is set to pay USD395,000 (over AUD500,000) in fines after the program aired a skit mocking the presidential alert.

Other broadcasters that have been found to have misused the warning tones include Los Angeles-area radio stations KDAY and KDEY-FM. In a news release issued on Thursday, the FCC announced it reached settlements with radio and TV broadcasters for playing the tone for national and regional audiences when there wasn't an official national emergency.

The FCC said it remains concerned about attempts to use the emergency alert tone "during advertisements, dramatic entertainment and educational programs, and at any other time there is no genuine alert, authorized test, or authorized [public service announcement]".

ABC told the FCC that there was a "misunderstanding that the use of the tone was permissible". As the president sends alerts to the family about "fake news" and the Robert Mueller's "witch hunt", they learn that the entire country has become haunted by Trump's messages. The system can also be used by federal, state and local authorities "to deliver emergency information", like location-specific weather information or AMBER alerts for missing children.

According to Reuters.com, representatives from The Walking Dead and the FCC came to an agreement on a fine of $104,000 for using the Emergency Alert System tone during an episode from season 9. ABC agreed to pay a fine of $395,000 to resolve the matter.

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"Lone Star Law", which airs on Discovery's Animal Planet, was also deemed an offender, and will pay up $68,000 in penalties.

Each of the companies has agreed to implement a compliance plan to avoid future misuse.

The companies have 30 days to pay up to the US Treasury.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in October 2018 sent presidential wireless alerts to millions of mobile phones that triggered a loud tone, a special vibration and a message reading: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

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