The FCC Is Getting Carried Away
As part of the government’s quest to preserve your values, the FCC is asking various networks for tapes of sporting events that could possibly include profanity from players, coaches, and fans. Any little slip-ups are likely to draw huge fines.
Under federal court rulings and commission rules, material is indecent if it “in context, depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium.” Indecent speech can be aired safely between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Now, I do believe in a certain amount of “decency” on the airwaves… which might come as a bit of a surprise to you, considering the outright filth that I produce here. But I do believe that when there’s a chance that young kids are watching, the networks have a responsibility to do what they can to keep the language clean, and I would take the bold stand of being against hardcore pornography being broadcast as a lead-in to SpongeBob Squarepants.
But at the same time, I like live television, and I understand that sometimes, you know, people say fuck. Things happen at live sporting events. At certain college arenas, the “asshole” chant is almost tradition. Bill Cowher can’t call a play without using the word “fuck.” I think it’s actually in some of their playcalls. “All right, let’s run Jumbo Right, Fuck 27, Slant Wing Z Cock Deep.”
Things just happen. And I think the networks do everything they can to keep it off the airwaves, with delays and such. But every now and then, a little bit of potty-mouth is going to get through. Broadcasters can be fined as much as $325,000 per violation, under a new law. And if networks keep getting hit with these huge fines, broadcasts are going to get farther and farther away from actually being “live.” Delays will be longer, microphones will get farther and farther from the field, and they’re going to air on the side of caution.
Just seems like the FCC should have better things to spend their time on.