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Senate Committee Passes FCC Indecency Bill 507

An anonymous reader writes "US Senate Commerce Committee today passed a bill that would allow the FCC to fine broadcasters for slip of the tongue expletives, negating a ruling by federal appeals court in New York that commission's policy on 'fleeting expletives' is arbitrary and capricious. 'A mandate by Congress that a "fleeting expletive" can now be found indecent will create a vast chilling effect on broadcast speech, the advocacy group Center for Democracy and Technology claims. CDT points out that prior to this bill and the FCC's policy change, the FCC exercised discretion in determining which utterances were indecent, and consistently found that one-time uses of curse words were not indecent.'"
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Senate Committee Passes FCC Indecency Bill

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  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:03AM (#19927037)
    • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:08PM (#19929067)
      BEEEEP You are fined one credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute.
    • Re:Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) * on Friday July 20, 2007 @02:23PM (#19930165) Homepage Journal

      The first amendment, emphasis mine:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      There are no amendments to the constitution that allow the federal government (congress) to rework the meaning and intent of the first amendment. Therefore, this law is illegitimate. Because it is illegitimate, it is also without authority — no authority is provided by the constitution, therefore no authority transfers to the law. Consequently it is a law of coercion, using only force and the threat of force as the means to accomplish its goal, which is specifically abridging freedom of speech.

      The 14th amendment extends the bill of rights (amendments one through ten) to the states; that is, the states must make law according to the dictates of the bill of rights, just as the federal government must. So laws abridging freedom of speech cannot be legitimately created at the state level, either.

      Note that there is a path that could make this kind of action legitimate; that would require amendment of the constitution. Without such amendment, the federal government is not legally authorized to make a law of this type. Amendment is a procedure that is defined in Article Five of the constitution.

      One more ironclad example of our federal government wildly out of control.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mal-2 ( 675116 )
        The problem is that the FCC is not a part of the Legislative branch, it is part of the Executive branch, and the Constitution clearly says that it is Congress that shall not make such a law. This means all the "strict constructionists" that support the "Unitary Executive" (in quotes because these two stances are mutually exclusive) will say that no violation of the Constitution is taking place.

        Either that or they will just have a massive "failure to recall" when questioned on the point.

  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:04AM (#19927055) Homepage Journal
    Will someone please think about the children!! It would be just horrible, evil and wrong for children to naughty words! Why, it might psychologically damage them for life! The horror!
    • Re:The evil CDT (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fishthegeek ( 943099 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:14AM (#19927185) Journal
      You think that is funny until it's your own seven year old that tells a teacher to fuck off, or starts cursing in a WalMart.
      • Re:The evil CDT (Score:5, Insightful)

        by brunascle ( 994197 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:21AM (#19927291)
        but why do people have so much more of a problem with words like "fuck"? why should that be considered any different than "go to hell"?

        perhaps it's because we dont use these words casually that they have so much more of an effect, and if we stopped giving them special emotional status the problem would resolve itself.
        • Re:The evil CDT (Score:5, Insightful)

          by The Ultimate Fartkno ( 756456 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:00PM (#19927971)
          Good theory, but I'm afraid it'll never work. Because one of the functions of language is to express a range of distaste, there will always have to be a top end to the level of offense meant to the listener. This, in my completely unresearched opinion, necessitates words that are reserved for the absolute maximum impact. If "fuck" were to be removed from speech due to casual use there would inevitably be something new invented to take its place. Look no further than the recent symbolic "burial" of the dreaded "n-word" by (IIRC) the NAACP. There's a perfect example of a community where, to one side, a word is so vile that it needs to be stricken from any and all use, and to the other side, it's so inoffensive that it's used as a term of endearment. I'm not exactly sure what rap fans use in place of it when they're shouting at each other, but you know there has to be something.

          As long as there are people cutting other people off in traffic, there'll be a search for something to yell at them. Language is funny like that.
          • Re:The evil CDT (Score:5, Interesting)

            by CaptJay ( 126575 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:37PM (#19928577) Homepage
            In a funny twist of english influence over french-speakers in Quebec, we imported 'fuck' into our day-to-day speech.

            We use 'fuck' extremely casually: 'ah fuck!' is often used when a native english speaker would say "Ah, geez!", and 'fuck it!' is used just as casually...

            Just wanted to add another example to your argument that the actual word has nothing to do with it, rather it's the way people are used to hearing/saying it in their culture.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by paulthomas ( 685756 )
              I have also experienced this in German-speaking countries with the words fuck and shit (as well as shitty).
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by IAmTheDave ( 746256 )
              Well that's just great. According to South Park, not only do "curse words" or "words that are cursed" bring about horrors such as puking up your own innards, but Canada is evil and an ensuing war with Canada brings forth the apocalypse.

              So now, as a double whammy, we've got the evil Canadians throwing around "fuck" like it's candy.

              Guess I should start making peace with God soon...
          • Re:The evil CDT (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:06PM (#19929037) Homepage Journal
            Another point: how long before cursing in public forums is also censored? After all, it's reaching a wide audience, just like radio and TV; in fact one might say sites like slashdot are the talk-radio of our era.

            There are local laws against cursing in public, here and there, often dating back to the 1800s. Enforced? Rarely, if ever. You'd have to arrest everyone, sooner or later.

            As you note, these words exist for a reason, and if banned or deprecated, something else takes their place.

            And for those who say "I don't NEED to curse", they apparently don't understand nuances ... such as how "screwed up" doesn't carry the implication of maliciousness conveyed by "fucked up".

          • Re:The evil CDT (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Floritard ( 1058660 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:55PM (#19929775)
            I really have to disagree here. My friends and I basically have no boundaries on word usage. Not the F-word, not the C-word, and that's across both genders. It doesn't offend me in the least to hear these words. The people around me, and to an extent I think most of the recent generation use profanity quite casually. Just look at the culture, the movies nowadays especially. You become desensitized to it, and it loses all superficial shock value. That doesn't mean you don't respond to indecency or insults. You just begin to look at the larger picture. The intonation of voice, the attitude of the speaker. It's no longer about the words but the intention behind them. This is the way it should be. Having so-called "naughty" words whose very presence offends regardless of context is really just a form of control. You're looked at as immature or lower class if you use profanity around certain people. If those people are in power, they have an easy way to control your behavior. You don't have to use profanity, but taking offense to certain words in themselves is childish. Fucking childish.
      • by The Ultimate Fartkno ( 756456 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:22AM (#19927299)
        And that's where the parental duty of discipline comes in. Never underestimate the corrective powers of a sock full of quarters.
      • Re:The evil CDT (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wbattestilli ( 218782 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:22AM (#19927315)
        Thank god that my seven year old will only hear cursing from N sources rather than N+1. Once we get people to behave and clean up the internet everything should be ok.
      • Re:The evil CDT (Score:5, Insightful)

        by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:23AM (#19927323) Homepage Journal

        You think that is funny until it's your own seven year old that tells a teacher to fuck off, or starts cursing in a WalMart.

        See, it's not the inappropriate words that are the problem, it's the inappropriate behaviour. There's no difference between your seven year old telling to the teacher to 'fuck off' and the seven year old telling the teacher rudely to 'go away'. Until people see that it's rude and inappropriate behaviour that is the problem, not words, we'll always be stuck in the 1950s.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lawpoop ( 604919 )

          There's no difference between your seven year old telling to the teacher to 'fuck off' and the seven year old telling the teacher rudely to 'go away'.
          Yeah, sure. There's no difference between telling someone to 'go away' and 'go stick your finger in your vagina'. Absolutely none.
          • Re:The evil CDT (Score:4, Insightful)

            by xappax ( 876447 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:43AM (#19927645)
            That's a good point. In terms of indecency laws, there is no difference between those phrases. Just goes to show that you can be quite vulgar and disrespectful without using any profanity. It's the meaning and sentiment behind the words that matters, not the vocabulary employed to express it.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by lawpoop ( 604919 )
              I guess I'm on the side that certain words are bad in their own right. You can express your dissatisfaction with someone without referencing sex, feces, or Deities. Swear words don't carry any meeting; all they do is make it more stronger by the fact that they are taboo subjects.

              Indecency laws for broadcasting is one thing, but a kid making references to genitals or masturbation to a teacher is way out of line in my book. In school, it's okay to ask someone to go away, if not rude. It's not at all appr
              • by brunascle ( 994197 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:59AM (#19927967)

                It's not at all appropriate to just throw around genitals
                i agree 100%

                oh cmon, you couldve have typed that without knowing it would be taken out of context.
              • Re:The evil CDT (Score:5, Insightful)

                by db32 ( 862117 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:03PM (#19928007) Journal
                And here is the magic of why that is such nonsense.

                1. "Bad" words are only bad becaus they are bad. The idea that there are "bad" words follows the most innane circular logic since "The Bible is true because it was inspired by God and I know that because the Bible says so". The moral police use the most bizaar circular logic and this is it again. If noone cared and noone was offended then noone would use the word to be offensive eh?

                2. The more you censor "Bad" words, the more "Bad" they become. The more "Bad" they become the more likely someone is going to use the "Bad" word to attempt to be offensive. Their level of offensiveness was amplified by the stupid attempt to censor said "Bad" word.

                3. Any of these fools that support this crap obviously have spent very little time around children (not to say they don't have them, but I imagine most career politicians are probably too busy getting handjobs from hookers on business trips paid for by lobbyists to spend much time bothering to raise their kids). You tell a kid "You can't do X" and the first thing they do when you aren't looking is what exactly? Same goes for "You can't say Y". Good job, you just made it more attractive for them to say "bad" words.

                4. An earlier poster had it exactly right, while the verbage may be less offensive (again only made offensive by silly attempts to declare it offensive and taboo), the real problem is rudeness. I don't care what my children say to me, if its a real "bad" word, if its a made up word, or if its normal language, if they are being rude about it they are going to be dealt with swiftly and severely (no not beating, but a good quick barked command will make any kid jump out of his skin). The words used themselves are irrelevant it is about what the intent was when they said them.
                "Go hork yourself you sheeprag" and "Go fuck yourself you whore" are going to get equally punished in my book, and only one of them used "bad" words.
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by lawpoop ( 604919 )

                  1. "Bad" words are only bad becaus they are bad. The idea that there are "bad" words follows the most innane circular logic since "The Bible is true because it was inspired by God and I know that because the Bible says so". The moral police use the most bizaar circular logic and this is it again. If noone cared and noone was offended then noone would use the word to be offensive eh?

                  That's not true. All of the 'bad' words or swear words refer to taboo subjects -- stuff we don't physically deal with in every day life.

                  Swear words are always one of these subjects:

                  • Deities, either evil or good: "Jesus Christ" in English, "Perkele" or Devil in Finnish.
                  • Sex or genitals: "Voi vittu" or "Oh, cunt" in Finnish, or Fuck in English.
                  • 'Dirty' bodily functions, such as farting, defecating, and urinating. 'Merde' in French or 'Shit' in English. Now these are not dirty because they are dirty. Poop
                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by rhakka ( 224319 )
                    And taboo subjects, likewise, are only taboo because people have decided it was so. There is a very big difference between peeing in the street and talking about peeing in the street. There is no reason why talking about it should be "bad". Many people act like that is true, but there is no reason why it must be true on its own.

                    If you cannot differentiate between the two things, and the "inherent badness" between them, then you simply are one step away from advocating for thought police.

                    Taboo subjects ar
                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by rhakka ( 224319 )
                      You're missing the whole point. It is arbitrary to have a taboo EXTEND TO LANGUAGE. It's taboo to actually pee in the street or shit on someone's table for very good reason. It's not, however, taboo to talk about such things for any reason other than it makes you feel uncomfortable. You are in no danger by my bringing it up, you are just reminded of a situation where there may be some danger or unpleasantness.

                      That's not a rational response. I likewise, have some irrational responses myself, to racist o
                  • Re:The evil CDT (Score:4, Insightful)

                    by Taevin ( 850923 ) * on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:56PM (#19928875)

                    So, the swear words refer to stuff you would never deal with in everyday life.
                    I don't know about you, but I think a lot of people do deal with these things everyday. I may not deal a whole lot with deities, but I sure do with sex/genitals and bodily functions. Of course, I also find it hard to find anything offensive in these tasks anyway, including those 'dirty' bodily functions, but I realize I may be fairly unique in that regard. I've never understood why in our culture basic bodily functions and desires are so taboo. We speak in circuitous ways about these things like "I payed a visit to the bathroom" or "I spent some time with my girlfriend last night." We can be fairly sure you weren't just admiring the decorations in the restroom and weren't with your girlfriend for the conversation (I kid, I kid!).

                    I'd definitely agree with other posters with the sentiment being more important than the actual words used. I don't know why we're stuck on the student-teacher dynamic, but it works there too. I can definitely say that I've never used a 'vulgar' word as an insult to a teacher (or any elder), but I'd be lying if I said I've never had my mouth washed out with soup for mouthing off to one. Just take sarcasm for instance: if someone does something stupid and you call him a genius for it, the insult is clear and yet no foul words were used--quite the opposite in fact.

                    Behavior really is the most important thing to correct. If you have a respectful child, he's going to know when it is not appropriate to use certain words, even if he has no objection to any of them. I have no studies or evidence to back it up, but I'd definitely put money on the argument that the children you see crying, carrying on, and generally just being disrespectful to their parents and elders are also the ones that are going to use vulgar language. Even more so if they know that it will get them more attention because it is offensive.
                    • by Torvaun ( 1040898 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @02:35PM (#19930325)
                      >Perhaps some people have uncontrolled mental imagery; I know I do. When someone says "fuck off" I >see a guy masturbating. When someone says "bullshit" I see a cowpie. I don't like those mental >images, but it's something you learn to deal with I guess.

                      Hmm. Goatse!

                      Yes, I am a jerk.

                      P.S. Almost said "Yes, I am an asshole." but I figured Goatse covered that. Or uncovered it, as the case may be.
        • Re:The evil CDT (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:43AM (#19927641) Homepage
          and everyone forgets that children, specifically young children mimic tv far less than they mimic parents.

          Hating blacks and minorities? that comes from daddy and mommy.

          a 7 year old that says "fuck off" I'll bet you $80.00 that daddy says it on a regular basis.

          The faults lie directly in the hands of the parents.

          Yes you parents, your kids behavior is YOUR FAULT. you TEACH THEM TO ACT THAT WAY. Dont act suprised when little stevie says "fuck you" to someone when you say it daily. The guy that wears the "let's go fuck some whores" T shirt out with his kids and scolds them for swearing blows my mind.

          now teenagers, all bets are off, children become mentally insane from age 13 to age 25 and should be treated as special needs, specifically girls. good god the drama..... save me from the drama.
          • Re:The evil CDT (Score:5, Interesting)

            by hrvatska ( 790627 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:27PM (#19929347)
            a 7 year old that says "fuck off" I'll bet you $80.00 that daddy says it on a regular basis.

            You're neglecting to consider the power of peer influence. None of my adult relatives swore in my presence, but I sure knew how to cuss by the time I was in 5th grade. This was solely because a lot of my friends did. I never swore in front of my adult relatives, but I'd cuss outside of their ear shot.

            One time, when my son was in kindergarten, he was sitting at home with me, my wife and my parents. A series of jokes were told, and everyone was laughing. All of a sudden my son blurts out 'you can kiss my fuckin' pussy!' Everyone gets quiet and looks over at my son. He knew at that point that perhaps he had said something inappropriate. I calmly asked my son why he had just said what had said. He said that all the older girls on the school bus shouted that at each other and then laughed, and he thought as long as we were all being so jovial he'd contribute. I had made it a point of never swearing in my son's presence, and I know none of his other adult relatives did. He was evidently picking up quite the vocabulary outside of the house, though.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by JerkBoB ( 7130 )
            and everyone forgets that children, specifically young children mimic tv far less than they mimic parents.

            Holy crap (shit?)! You have really hit this one right on the nose. It's soooo easy for people to bitch and moan about "society" turning their children into little monsters, when in fact it's their own damn fault for not establishing healthy boundaries (i.e. "parental guidance") and setting good examples.

            I speak as the parent of a 4yo who has had plenty of time to observe lots of rugrats and munchkins.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by manowar821 ( 986185 )
        Oh stop it.

        That has very little to do with television, as shitty and monotonous as it is. The fault is squarely on the parents for not realizing their kid is acting like a douche-bag, and punishing him/her accordingly. Hell, it's probably something you enabled!

        Oh but I forgot, in this day and age, we blame everyone but ourselves, right? DISCIPLINE YOUR KID AND STOP CENSORING MY ENTERTAINMENT.

        Stupid parents, I swear, 75% - 85% of them are complete failures as role models.
      • But what if the teacher really deserves it?

        Seriously, I have children, and I don't really mind if they say 'fuck', or whatever. The words themselves aren't evil. I do try to teach them that there is a time and a place for it, and that they have to use good judgement about how using vulgar language affects other people's perception of them. That, to me, is the main issue with so-called profanity.

        And yes, I understand that the younger they are, the harder it is for them to make those distinctions. I do deal w
      • by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

        You know where I learned the word "fuck?" In a church. I was second grade, which would place me about seven years old.

        Guess what - I never told a teacher to fuck off or started cursing in a Wal-Mart.

        I'd expect that a seven year old can figure out what times are appropriate to use curse words (e.g., when trying to tick off your parents) and what times are not (e.g., when trying to act polite).

        Censoring television isn't going to help anything. What type of TV are you planning on watching with your seven

      • Re:The evil CDT (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:28AM (#19927399) Homepage Journal

        You think that is funny until it's your own seven year old that tells a teacher to fuck off, or starts cursing in a WalMart.

        I know a kid who has been allowed to cuss at home since he was like six. He's never had a public cussing problem because he was explicitly taught by his mother when it is and is not appropriate, and the instruction was approached from a position of respect and reason, and above all responsibility, rather than by treating the child like a slave and instructing them as to what they will do (from my own experience I can tell you that the "orders" approach is very hit and miss. certainly it did not work at all on me.)

        This is entirely a matter of parenting. Period, the end, thank you! Most parents swear inappropriately and so their children learn to do so as well. And most parents use fear, not respect, to keep children in line. They use an appeal to authority, not one to respect, to guide their behavior.

        Lots of people have told me "you'd feel differently if you had children". Yet I seem to have better results dealing with children than most people do. I talk to them like humans, not like we talk to animals (actually, in most cases that's a disservice to the animal, let alone what it's like when we do it to a child) and the results are typically positive. Children are more willing to listen to you when you're not treating them like a monkey. (Even if they're acting like one.)

        I never really had the issue addressed for me at all, except having my mouth washed out with soap at a day care once because before I even understood it I used the word "hump", no joke. This mountain of a woman named Jennifer ran (or runs) a day care across the street from Mar Vista elementary school. She had two or three spoiled kids and decided to add a bunch of others to the mix. One kid accused me of humping one of the others, so I told him he did it, and I got a mouthful of palmolive as a reward. Guess how I reacted to her henceforth? Dumb bitch. (They did instruct me to swallow the soap, but I spit it out. Even as a kid I wasn't an idiot. It says right on the bottle not to drink it.) This event taught me that stupid people are offended by certain words, but I cuss up a storm today. And I enjoy it.

        Bottom line: Parenting from a position of respect and responsibility makes more sense than parenting from fear.

        Postscript: Most parents seem to treat Walmart as a children's play area anyway. I don't think most of them give a shit if they start cussing. Walmart is the least classy place on earth.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Red Flayer ( 890720 )
          Ephasis mine:

          This is entirely a matter of parenting. Period, the end, thank you!
          Most parents...
          Lots of people...
          I never really...
          [several paragraphs more]

          "Period, the end, thank you!" I'm not sure that means what you think it means :)

          Seriously, though:

          Lots of people have told me "you'd feel differently if you had children"

          What I'd say to you is that you'd know differently if you had children. Acting from an authority position is just as important as acting with respect -- and the two are not mu

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by profplump ( 309017 )
        Yes, because that would demonstrate that my seven-year-old was making child-like and sometimes embarrassing decisions about what to say and where to say it. Oh the horror.

        I understand there are traditional societal expectations, but being upset about "cursing" is really just as arbitrary and useless as being upset about people that wear blue socks.
      • Who cares? Yes I'm not a parent but you know what, the problem is not that the child told the teach to FUCK off. The problem THAT the child told the teach to fuck off. Who cares what words were used, it is the INTENT and the LACK OF RESPECT behind it that should worry you. Or would it be more pallatable if the child told them to FRACK off, or to INTERCOURSE off.

        My comment applies doubly in Walmart. Kids WILL learn curse words if they are on TV or not, try being a parent and teaching them that they are
      • You think that is funny until it's your own seven year old that tells a teacher to fuck off, or starts cursing in a WalMart.

        Exactly, because parents can't be expected to take the time to explain to their children that even though these words exist, they are not always appropriate - especially for children. Nor can parents be expected take responsibility for their children's behavior. :-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Hearing them and using them are two different things. They need to be taught what is and is not acceptable.

        p.s. My youngest son used the word "fucking" correctly and in context at the age of 5. I was proud, not horrified. At 12 he still asks sometimes if the word he wishes to use is appropriate for the situation and context before saying something.
      • Re:The evil CDT (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rbochan ( 827946 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:51AM (#19927787) Homepage
        When I was 7, one of my teachers was being a complete bitch and I _did_ tell him to fuck off.
        My grandmother, another (English) teacher in the building, got to meet me at the principal's office with my teacher. She asked about the situation, and stated, in no uncertain terms, that I'd used the (sic) appropriate language for the situation and she'd have told my teacher the same thing. Though she said that she'd prefer that language wasn't used in school, it at least had not been for pure folly. The principal agreed.
        Gotta love us some English teachers :o)

      • Fuck the FCC (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shihar ( 153932 )

        You think that is funny until it's your own seven year old that tells a teacher to fuck off, or starts cursing in a WalMart.

        The idea that an entire form of media should be censored because you don't want to suffer the embarrassment (and that is all it is) of your kid acting like a little shit head in WalMart is fucking ridiculous beyond words. We do not censor entire fucking forms of media so that parents don't have to worry about disciplining their kids.

        What SHOULD happen is that on the off chance your kid is watching TV well past his bed time, and on the off chance someone swears on TV, and on the off chance that kid decides

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gstoddart ( 321705 )

        You think that is funny until it's your own seven year old that tells a teacher to fuck off, or starts cursing in a WalMart.

        As someone who has absolutely no interest whatsoever in raising children and isn't gonna have any ...

        I find it absolutely hilarious when someone's seven year old starts spouting profanity in public places. It bloody well amuses me to no end. It's like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

        It's all a matter of perspective. :-P


    • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) *
      Will someone please think about the children!! It would be just horrible, evil and wrong for children to naughty words! Why, it might psychologically damage them for life! The horror!

      Your sarcasm is noted.
      Are you saying "fuck the children"? What's wrong with decency standards on public airwaves? It's not like you can't get cable. It's not like the outlets this affects can't get a cable channel of their own and do nothing but say "fuck" over and over while showing a nipple.
  • Of course (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stox ( 131684 )
    This will not apply to the politicians.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by solios ( 53048 )
      They won't be the ones paying the fine. Why should they care?

      Bono says "fuck" on the Grammy awards and CBS foots the bill. If anything, this will help kill off what's left of "live" media coverage in favor of the rolling five or ten minute delay a lot of broadcasters use to catch and scrub things like this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by shma ( 863063 )
      On behalf of Dick Cheney, go fuck yourself [].
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )

      Of course This will not apply to the politicians.

      Can anyone tell me why this post is insightful?
      Was there something in TFA that I didn't read?

      If the parent is trying to say something, they need to back it up with proof and not just some vague insinuation.

      Even now, this policy change will only allow the FCC to fine broadcasters for one word utterances, it won't mandate it. The FCC will still operate pretty much as it always has with regards to broadcast TV: in reaction to 'public' outrage.

      If nobody complains, nothing happens.

  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:07AM (#19927097) Homepage Journal
    Well [BEEP] that!

    Fortunately, due to my 15 second delay, I was able to self-censor.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fortunately, due to my 15 second delay, I was able to self-censor.
      I don't have a fucking delay you insensitive clod!
  • It's necessary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bullfish ( 858648 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:07AM (#19927099)
    Otherwise, kids might think it is okay to swear, and think of the chaos if the curse word is accompanied by a nipple. Surely we can't have this as it will lead to all kinds of promiscuity etc. Catastrophe! Better the kids see people getting their legs etc blown off. It's good clean wholesome fun that will prepare them for living in the modern world.
    • I think you were saying all that in jest. But really it's all truth. Think about it.
    • In addition to your point, I really can't understand the reasoning behind the bleeping. I mean, what do they expect? How are people supposed to react to the bleeped word? "F*bleep*? What did he say just now? Fun? Farm? Fart? Oh, if only I knew!"
      I mean, what exactly is gained by this? Are American children so stupid they can't make the connection between "f*bleep*" and "fuck"? "Daddy, why did that man just buzz? Is buzzing a bad thing?"
      Is there anyone in the world stupid enough to look at one of these broa
  • Well, fuck (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <> on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:08AM (#19927113) Homepage Journal
    So, if you don't like a particular radio station that does live call-ins, you can just call 'em up and swear and then file a complaint?
    • Almost every radio station broadcasts on a delay of a few seconds. There's someone in the booth with their finger on a button to bleep your horrible, dirty, nasty word.

      Your best bet is to learn a bunch of sci fi swear words and use them in common speech.

  • Oh, wait...
  • Well, "thinkofthechildren" definitely applies here, since the act is named "Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act ". It doesn't get any more obvious than that that these politicians are desperate for reelection.
    • The worst part is that it's not just protecting children from "indecent programming" ... it's protecting all of us. Dammit, I don't WANT protection from indecent programming. Hell, if anything, I want more of it!
  • by vigmeister ( 1112659 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:12AM (#19927173)
    Who is responsible for accidental broadcasting of expletives. the example that comes immediately to mind is the stump microphone used in cricket that picks up on field chatter and sounds that add to viewer experience (would be like a mic placed on the bases in baseball). If a player accidentally curses, it is heard world over and in most instances, the commentators entirely ignore it or express that a certain player is extremely angry. Would the player be fined?(fair IMHO) or would the network be punished?(unfair IMHO). Here's an example of it in cricket: []

    Who would be liable for this? Who SHOULD be liable?

    Another issue is that even if it is bleeped out through human monitoring (with a 10 second delay or something), can mouthing of the word be considered as 'broadcasting' it? Communication is not only about sound, but given the weird laws regarding recording cops' audio/video output, it might be a similarly absurd law.

    Or maybe I just don't understand TFA.

    • I'm fairly certain that cricket will never be carried on broadcast TV in the US, so you really don't need to worry.
      • Actually we regularly get cricket broadcast at Georgia Tech through GTCN. Most of the watchers being expats, nobody will care because only 'terrorist babies' are affected. This lack of involvement is welcomed by me.

  • Not a done deal (Score:2, Informative)

    by steve802 ( 99297 )
    It should be noted, for the social-studies-ignorant, that this is not the passage of a bill into a law, just the passage of a bill through a committee, one of many hurdles a bill must go through. Of course, the committee is often the hardest hurdle to overcome, but there are many chances to defeat this bill. It must still pass the full Senate and, assuming the bill has not already gone though the House, must go through all the same hurdles in the House. I suggest that now is the time to voice your concer
    • right.. it is not yet a law. But i'm sure it will be. The government signs anything at this point. None of them actually read the shit they sign. None of them actually debate these things in that big fancy building our tax dollars built them for debating ideas in.

      The problem with this is...

      Once you take the strip club out of the community... you cant be the politician that runs on that platform of "i'm bringing back the whores to the community!"

      We all act puritan, but in our bedrooms, we're choking on cock,
  • What gets said on TV and Radio is now so irrelevant compared to what is on the Internet that one wonders why they bother trying to regulate TV and Radio at all.

    All any of these congress people need to do is get on Google and search for "sex" and you will find so much pr0n that you could have a TV channel that played the word "FUCK" over and over 24/7 for a year and it could never match the "indecency" that you can find on the internet in 30 seconds.

    These guys really are re-arranging the deck chairs on the T
    • wake the fuck up, the internet... IS NEXT. Dont fucking kid yourself, the government doesnt owe you shit. They do, but they're out for your vote and they will sell out the internet and its freedoms as well. So get your fucking ass in gear and do something.

      START HERE: []
  • So how much would this [] have cost Fox?
  • They're just fucking words. Words most of the fucking shitheads I know were saying by the fourth grade explicitly BECAUSE they were told they were naughty. They do no harm, they hold no foul power. They're naughty only because we say so, and virtually everyone uses them from time to time no matter how we regulate media. They're just fucking words.

    Why the fuck does the FCC even care? Why do the politicians care? What the fuck is the matter with these people?

  • by Digital Vomit ( 891734 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:33AM (#19927489) Homepage Journal

    This will cause "a vast chilling effect on broadcast speech"? Oh, please.

    Is it so bad to learn a little self control?

  • FCC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ender77 ( 551980 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:33AM (#19927497)
    FCC = FEDERAL CENSORSHIP COMMITTEE The are like the RIAA of television. Turning everything they touch to *Bleep*
  • This is so stupid. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:40AM (#19927607)
    In this day and age, who actually goes out of their way to not let their children hear curse words? I'll bet these are the same kind of parents who wonder why their perfect little angels are doing drugs and drinking behind their back at age 13. Wake up guys, the social scene has changed in the last 30 years. Kids are exposed to everything from a very early age.

    The tighter you control, the more your kids will try to get away with. Everyone knows that from their own childhood, but forgets that when they become parents themselves!

    My personal philosophy: Assume kids have access to every bad thing out there. Give them the tools to deal with it so they don't wind up killing themselves or doing something stupid. At the same time, tolerate a little bit of abnormal behavior. Any other control you try to impose is just going to turn them into a social retard or push them away from you.
  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:42AM (#19927629)
    Add this to:

    - McCain-Feingold censoring of political speech that criticizes incumbent politicians before elections.
    - Reinstitution of the fairness doctrine [] to censor all "controversial" broadcasts
    - Opening the door for terrorists to sue ordinary citizens [] who say "I saw something suspicious" to security personnel
    - PBS censors film for not being sensitive [] to radical "insurgents" who threaten folks who argue for moderation
    - Don Imus shut up by Al Sharpton's forces
    - Numerous incidents [] on college campuses

    Free speech is too important. It needs to be protected and the Supreme Court isn't doing an adequate job (see the McCain-Feingold decision).
    • by Dausha ( 546002 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:36PM (#19928553) Homepage
      "Free speech is too important. It needs to be protected and the Supreme Court isn't doing an adequate job (see the McCain-Feingold decision)."

      You are wrong, Sir. The Constitution should not be defended by only one branch of government, but by all *four*. There are three active branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The inactive branch is the People. We are the authority by which Congress enacts laws, the authority by which the President enforces those laws, and the authority by which SCOTUS interprets the laws.

      Running to SCOTUS every time something unconstitutional happens is a hack. It has allowed the American People to become complacent with their obligation to ensure effective government. It has allowed Congress to enact laws that are sloppy and lets the judicial branch take the heat when something unpopular happens (SCOTUS said it, so it must be Constitutional). I hate to tell you this, but just because SCOTUS said it, does not make it Constitutional---look at the "Life of Mickey Mouse+90year" rule for copyright. SCOTUS is the non-political branch, so resorting to them is resorting to an anti-democratic solution.

      What is required is for the American people to focus on the real issue in this country: of rampant bad governance. We're split into left-and-right factions and so don't notice how we're getting screwed. We need to supplant all the bozos---establish term limits with a requirement that a Congressman cannot serve as a lobbyist for as many years as he served in Congress. Maximum time served is 12 years.
  • Monty Python (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:46AM (#19927697)
    And yet a recent episode of Monty Python aired on PBS that featured a long duration shot of a topless woman.
  • commitee? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jerry Rivers ( 881171 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:51AM (#19927789)
    Please pardon my ignorance, but just because a bill passes committee does that automatically make it law? Doesn't it have to go to a full vote in the Senate first? And since it appears to have originated in the Senate, wouldn't it also have to pass the House too?
  • A counterpoint here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:05PM (#19928067) Homepage Journal

    Okay, I know it isn't popular opinion around here, but I'm wondering exactly what the problem is with this.

    The airwaves are a public medium. As in, they belong to the public, not to a private entity (in spite of the fact that many private interests behave as if they did own the airwaves... - but that's a different topic). Our democratically elected Congress passed this bill. This is what the public wants.

    I understand if your definition of what is appropriate is different from mine. However, there are already alternatives available for those whose tastes lean toward the tawdry side. This isn't an issue of free speech, but rather, of how the public thinks its airwaves should be used. They belong to the public, and the people have spoken - through Congress - about what they want to hear on radio and see on tv. It's not censorship, but censureship - that is, the removal of something the people don't want to see or hear.

    It's as simple as that.

    You can call it absurd, fine. But there are things which, while they may be acceptable to certain individuals in society, are not appropriate for the public at large. And because the public owns the airwaves, they get to decide what's appropriate for them.

  • by thebdj ( 768618 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:36PM (#19928565) Journal

    These marvelous words brought to you by George Carlin.

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.