Tuesday, June 05, 2007


FCC-'in A!

Oh $#!%! A federal appeals court tells government watchdogs to get over themselves!

This point tickled me to no end:

But the judges said vulgar words are just as often used out of frustration or excitement, and not to convey any broader obscene meaning. “In recent times even the top leaders of our government have used variants of these expletives in a manner that no reasonable person would believe referenced sexual or excretory organs or activities.”

Adopting an argument made by lawyers for NBC, the judges then cited examples in which Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had used the same language that would be penalized under the policy. Mr. Bush was caught on videotape last July using a common vulgarity that the commission finds objectionable in a conversation with Prime Minister
Tony Blair of Britain. Three years ago, Mr. Cheney was widely reported to have muttered an angry obscene version of “get lost” to Senator
Patrick Leahy
on the floor of the United States Senate.

I have a line in my stand-up routine where I point to Bush's vulgarity and pair it with Cheney's shooting incident and ask the question: When did the Republican Party become sponsored by Hot 97?

This blog occasionally uses one or two of those famous "seven words" George Carlin couldn't use on television (though most can be said on broadcast TV these days) -- though usually more in the Comments section than in the main posts. However, no one would confuse this blog with, say, a gangsta rap song. I try to keep something of a mature standard. Still, I don't try to censor myself or my colleagues. There are times when a coarse word or phrase is appropriate -- sometimes as punchline, sometimes as a way to emphasized a point.

Thus, I thought that the Federal Communications Commission was becoming a bit too much of a blue nose censoring body in going after broadcast networks for "incidental" airing of naughty words, supposedly to protect the sainted ears of our tender youth (many of whom are buying those aforementioned rap songs).

It will be interesting to see what the Supreme Court determines if the FCC appeals.

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