The FCC announced yesterday that it reached financial settlements with several broadcasters for misusing the national Emergency Alert System.
You know, those interruptions in which you hear the tones, followed by the announcement that “this is only a test” of the system, but if it weren’t a test, they’d let you know.
Episodes of The Walking Dead, Lone Star Law, and two L.A. morning radio shows all aired the tones without authorization. In the case of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, which paid a fine of $395,000, the late-night show had used the tones in a comedy sketch lampooning the decision in October 2018 to give the president broader authority to call for such emergencies.
Here’s the sketch in question. Don’t play this on your TV screen.