Seems the FCC has lost their battle with the First Amendment. From Reuters:
A U.S. appeals court on Monday (June 4, 2007) overruled federal regulators who decided that expletives uttered on broadcast television violated decency standards, a major victory for TV networks. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, in a divided decision, said that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission was “arbitrary and capricious” in setting a new standard for defining indecency.
Full story here, but the best analysis and conversation taking place right now, in terms of new media useage too, is over at new media guru Jeff Jarvis’ blog, BuzzMachine. Says, Jarvis, and these are his cuss words, not mine. (Before you get your panties in a wad over all the expletives used here, note that Jarvis is using them merely to put a fine point on his analysis. I’m sure we’re all grownup enough here on PP to understand this context. Then again…)
It also does my heart good to see babyfaced FCC Chairman Kevin Martin having a hissy fit of cursing over the ruling.
No, Mr. Martin. What you say is bullsh*t. (Click to BuzzMachine here for all the b*llshit.) It’s f*cked up. It’s f*cking stupid. I wish you would stay the f*ck away from our First Amendment.
There is absolutely nothing sexual or scatological in what I’ve just said — first, because I can’t imagine saying anything involving Kevin Martin that is in any way sexual (though I guess some might say he’s kinda cute), and second because what I have just made is a political statement.
Here is my defense of bullshit as political speech a year ago. It’s just plain wrong to say that these words are sexual. And it’s worse for a government official to put himself in the position of judging our meaning, motive, and context to see what he will allow as a government censor. They’re just words, Mr. Martin. And the world did not collapse when you used them.
As one commenter points out, the 1st Ammendment reads, “The Congress shall make NO laws…” So to heck with the FCC; seems no one wants its “arbitary and capricious” governnment oversight anymore. Another blow to the dinos. Onward and upward in new media. Maybe old will follow suit… when they can get that FCC monkey off their backs once and for all.
Now what about all those no-smoking and seat belt laws…