Free Speech is Killing Our Children!

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The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill today that would allow the FCC (the great and powerful Oz of this country's communication infrastructure and content) to fine broadcasters for "slip of the tongue" expletives. Well shit.

The bill comes on the heels of a New York federal appeals court decision saying that the commission's policy on 'fleeting expletives' is both arbitrary AND capricious (much like the behavior of a 14-year-old girl). The Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act (a name considered and dismissed as too long was the "By God If Parents Won't Do It Then I Guess We'll Have to Do It For Them Act") sponsored by Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) would essentially overturn the court's decision and, according to the advocacy group Center for Democracy and Technology, will create a "vast chilling effect" on broadcast speech. Prior to this bill and the FCC's change to the new, capricio-licious policy, the commission apparently exercised some discretion on a case-by-case basis to determine the indecency of an uttered curse word. CDT also maintains that if the bill were to become law it would force the courts to consider whether or not the FCC has the first amendment authority to censor speech through fines, something that given the current Supreme Court lineup might result in a blow for free motherf*cking speech. If the bill passes it is likely that broadcasters will self-censor themselves even more rigorously to avoid being hit by a fine from the FCC for some fleeting expletive. Super Bowl starts at 7pm? Get ready to watch it "live" after the one hour delay buffer fills up at 8. But at least the children will be safe.



Oh crap
Posted by wizeGurl on 2007-07-21 12:04:05
Yeah, because those kids have never encountered any of those naughty words before. How many of us first learned some of our most choice phrases from our parents as "fleeting, slip-of-the-tongue" expletives?
Posted by Johnny Sane on 2007-08-15 13:20:31
The worst part is, the FCC continues to try to extend this to all cable broadcasters (and not just public channels).

It seems they want the US to be some clean, wholesome, "Leave It To Beaver"-styled world where nobody swears, nobody has sex, and nobody is ever offended.
Posted by Werewere on 2007-08-26 07:53:01
i wondere who really teaches the kids bad words?
they're friends who learned it from big kids or siblings who learned through slips of PARENTS


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