Friday, May 1, 2009

Cracking Down on Cursin'

The Supreme Court upheld a U.S. government crackdown on profanity on television, a policy that subjects broadcasters to fines for airing a single expletive blurted out on a live show. In its first ruling on broadcast indecency standards in more than 30 years, the high court handed a victory on Tuesday to the Federal Communications Commission, which adopted the crackdown against the one-time use of profanity on live television when children are likely to be watching. The case stemmed from an FCC decision in 2006 that found News Corp's Fox television network violated decency rules when singer Cher blurted out an expletive during the 2002 Billboard Music Awards broadcast and actress Nicole Richie used two expletives during the 2003 awards.

The FCC, under the administration of President George W. Bush, had embarked on a crackdown of indecent content on broadcast TV and radio after pop star Janet Jackson briefly exposed her bare breast during the 2004 broadcast of the Super Bowl halftime show. Before 2004, the FCC did not usually enforce prohibitions against indecency unless there were repeated occurrences. By a 5-4 vote and splitting along conservative-liberal lines, the justices upheld the FCC's new policy under the Administrative Procedure Act.


The Bill of Rights is supposed to be a list of the Constitution's first 10 Amendments, but its more like a set of guidelines. The freedoms that we have in this country are always attached to a big "but." You are told you have freedom of the press, but you can lose your job if you write something that offends people. You are told you have the right to receive a speedy trial, but lots of people are tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. I understand why exceptions are made to certain Amendments. The laws that govern our country must change with the times. I just feel that the federal government overregulates the wrong things. It lets bank executives spend outrageous amounts of bailout cash without any supervision. Yet, its FCC throws a tantrum when someone says "fuck" while presenting at an award show.

The FCC is a joke of an agency with no set standard on how to enforce its rules. Bush had the FCC cracking down on every little thing. I know that most of the stuff on television is trash. Sex, violence, and foul language are as pervasive on television as OxyContin and hydrocodon are at Rush Limbaugh's house. The vast majority of this stuff, however, comes on when children should be asleep. Adults that don't like what's on can change the channel or stop watching TV altogether. Television and radio stations shouldn't be given carte blanche to create programming. If that happened, some idiot executive would have porn showing on PBS. I just want the FCC to chill out or at least show some consistency when it makes rulings. The FCC contributed to the downfall of Janet Jackson. Its only right that I show Janet some love and dedicate this blog entry to "That's The Way Love Goes." Its my favorite song by Damita Jo.

Come with me
Don't you worry
I'm gonna make you crazy
I'll give you the time of your life
I'm gonna take you places
You've never been before and
You'll be so happy that you came