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Sufficient bite to be meaningful

Posted by Celia on May 27, 2003

I don't quite understand the bracketed sentences. Could anyone do me a favor?

In general , the Federal Communications Commission's efforts to regulating fairness met with little success throughout the 1950s, partly due to its inability to adequately police the requirements. (A further contributory factor was the commission's internal confusion over how best to delimit a balance between advocacy on the part of the broadcaster, on the one hand, and the rights of those expressing opposing views, on the other.) The net effect of the fairness requirements, then, was to encourage the makers of news programmes to avoid reports which were likely to attract the attention of the FCC even if, (as was likely the case, its strictures would lack sufficient bite to be meaningful.)

Thanks a lot.