Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 07, 2007

F.C.C. - Fuck's Up Again

A short update to the recent judgement against the Federal Communication Commission.

The FCC wanted to fine broadcasters for the casual use of words like "fuck" and "shit" within their programs. The court cited Bush's and Cheney's public use of such words and declared the FCC ruling illegal.

Now FCC Chairman Kevin Martin released a public statement (pdf) on the decision:

Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the use of the words “fuck” and “shit” by Cher and Nicole Richie was not indecent. 

I completely disagree with the Court’s ruling and am disappointed for American families.  I find it hard to believe that the New York court would tell American families that “shit” and “fuck” are fine to say on broadcast television during the hours when children are most likely to be in the audience.

In total the FCC statement includes the word "fuck" six times and "shit" four times. It is publicly available on the FCC website during the hours when children are most likely to surf the Internets. It continues:

If we can’t restrict the use of the words “fuck” and “shit” during prime time, Hollywood will be able to say anything they want, whenever they want.

Imagine that, people being able to say anything they want, whenever they want. We can't have that.

Unless such people are heading the administration or the FCC.

Posted by b on June 7, 2007 at 6:47 UTC | Permalink


Fuck former FCC Chair Michael Powell his daddy, and Kevin Martin.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 7 2007 7:40 utc | 1

"The FCC Song"

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 7 2007 7:44 utc | 2

I'm with the FCC on this one.

Posted by: DM | Jun 7 2007 10:42 utc | 3

yeah, it is kinda hard to take sides on this. on one hand people should be free to say whatever they want and not have to put up with government censorship. on the other hand, without any boundaries or limits capitalism tends to treat decency and good taste as quaint old money losing ideas so we get subjected to profanity and vulgarity. somehow we have got thru 50 odd years of television without hearing the seven words....what changed

still, I have the choice to not watch or listen so I guess complete freedom of the press is a good thing.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 7 2007 11:15 utc | 4

what changed

The meaning of those words did change within the society. Language adapts. Swearwords adapt.

Once it might have been bad to say godamit, today it's normal. (Not sure that's a good example - my knowledge in English is restricted. I have lots of examples of "old" swearwords in German though.)

I wouldn't like a news ancorwoman to use such language. But with some musician in a live interview or within a movie involving youth culture avoiding such words is falsificating reality.

Censoring it is a (ever unsuccessfully) attempt to deny change.

my $0.02

Posted by: b | Jun 7 2007 11:28 utc | 5

reading that press release reminds me of a story a pilot once told me. apparently someone swore while having an open mike and one of the ground controllers got all irate and demanded to know who said one of those seven words. for the next 10 minutes or so every pilot on that frequency radioed in to say that they did not say "fuck" on the public airways.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 7 2007 11:39 utc | 6

I can only assume that there are some mid-level employees at the FCC with a subtle sense of irony who are out to embarass their higher-ups by implementing their policies to their illogically logical end.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 7 2007 11:51 utc | 7

When one has to listen to a bunch of twelve year old's in McDonald's saying fuck this, fuck that, and you have young children in tow, one has to learn that language "adapts", and should not attempt to deny change.

I guess we are all in denial, and refuse to accept the regime change in Iraq.

Posted by: DM | Jun 7 2007 11:52 utc | 8

Although I am not overly fond of hearing cuss words on prime time TV or in public places, I am even less fond of hearing 'selected' officials at the head of our govt use them as part of their daily business. I suppose you could say that Bush and Cheney set the precedent for this court ruling and if anyone is to be berated, it is those two rather than the judge. We are not supposed to have different sets of law in this country. Unfortunately, we do; but in this case the Court erased the line and is to be commended for its ruling.

Fuck the whiners.

Posted by: Ensley | Jun 7 2007 14:00 utc | 9

I miss Bill.

Posted by: paradox | Jun 7 2007 14:14 utc | 10

cheney & bush also make it clear that the brutal murders of those (don't even need to think of 'em as people) you don't like is perfectly acceptable. looking forward to the inevitable surge of new defense arguments on homicide cases across the nation.

Posted by: b real | Jun 7 2007 14:39 utc | 11

me too paradox. i hope he's happy.

Posted by: annie | Jun 7 2007 15:29 utc | 12

This reminds me of the time my father represented anti-(Vietnam) war protesters for calling the cops 'motherfuckers'. In his openning arguments, and at anytime he could, my father used 'motherfucker' over and over again. The first prosecution witness was an elderly conservative women who happened to over the insalubrious remarks of the defendants. When the prosecutor ask his witness what was said, she couldn't out of embarrassement repeat 'motherfucker' at which point the judge leaned over to her and said ' come now Mrs So and So, we're all adults here'.

Posted by: Iron butterfly | Jun 7 2007 20:23 utc | 13

What the phuque?

Posted by: jcairo | Jun 7 2007 22:37 utc | 14

From Steve Earle -- best played really fucking loud:

I used to listen to the radio
And I don’t guess they’re listenin’ to me no more
They talk too much but that’s okay
I don’t understand a single word they say
Piss and moan about the immigrants
But don’t say nothin’ about the president
A democracy don’t work that way
I can say anything I wanna say

So fuck the FCC
Fuck the FBI
Fuck the CIA
Livin’ in the motherfuckin’ USA

People tell me that I’m paranoid
And I admit I’m gettin’ pretty nervous, boy
It just gets tougher everyday
To sit around and watch it while it slips away
Been called a traitor and a patriot
Call me anything you want to but
Just don’t forget your history
Dirty Lenny died so we could all be free

Posted by: YouFascinateMe | Jun 8 2007 14:37 utc | 15

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