Tuesday, April 28, 2009


CNN reports "The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday federal regulators have the authority to clamp down on the broadcast TV networks that air isolated cases of profanity, known as "fleeting expletives."

What this means is that the FCC has the authority to issue fines. The court did not address First Amendment issues in profanity, and kicked it back to the Federal Appeals Court. 

As a parent, I kind of like that there can be stricter codes regarding language during family viewing hours. But that part of me pales behind the writer, speaker and thinker who does not want my content regulated based on someone else's moral code.

Before we get ourselves in a knot, this really isn't about First Amendment rights...yet. It's about regulatory power. But the Appeals Court will be hearing these cases, and then it'll be all about who gets to say what, and when. 

Stay tuned.


  1. I'm a free speech kinda gal, and the "f" word does flow trippingly from my tongue. But this doesn't bother me because it seems to be a free TV vs. cable issue. Parents should be able to reasonably predict which channels will have "objectionable" content.
    I wish the feds were as concerned about violence as they are about "fleeting expletives."

  2. Actually, it's the free airwaves that the FCC is trying to control. Apparently the 'f' bomb's been dropped a few times too often, especially in live telecasts like awards shows.