Friday, June 22, 2012

Forget The 7 Second Delay, Cursing Is OK

What is indecency?  A curse word, a little nudity; to some, it is acceptable, but to others it is not.  And while we as a society seem to become more at ease with public profanity and nudity on HBO, we still have the FCC trying to police the broadcast airwaves against their version of what is indecent.  Well, at least for the  moment, it seems that they have been overruled.  "The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to address whether the government still has the authority to regulate indecency on broadcast television, but it ruled in favor of two broadcasters who had faced potential fines for programs featuring cursing and nudity on narrow grounds."

Based on these indecency cases, some of which look to be a decade old, the fleeting use of cursing, some of which occurred  during live broadcasts are not subject to any FCC fines.  I guess that now means that there is no need to institute a 7 second delay on live sports or award shows.  So now that football star or celebrity can drop an F-bomb at will.  And Janet Jackson should have no trouble exposing her other breast at halftime; here that Madonna.

With technological innovation enabling video across multiple platforms, not just broadcast, but cable and the internet, the rise of language and nudity is everywhere.  So why should these cases even be heard.  The gate has been wide open for years.  “'In my view, ” Justice Ginsburg wrote, the Pacifica decision 'was wrong when it issued. Time, technological advances, and the commission’s untenable rulings in the cases now before the court show why Pacifica bears reconsideration.'”  In light of changing technologies and society morals, the FCC has lost its focus.  We may wish for moral decency, but free speech ultimately endures.  Perhaps the focus should instead be in campaigning for the return of civility.  Not in wasting taxpayer money on regulating cursing.  You missed that boat a long time ago.

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