Do We Need The F-in FCC?

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…


  1. griftdrift says:

    Anytime anyone accuses me of not being for smaller government, I continue the conversations by responding “let’s talk abou the FCC…”

  2. Bill Simon says:


    I don’t know about the FCC, but you may be in violation of the EECC…Erick Erickson’s Communications Commission. Commission Size: 1

  3. Paul Shuford says:

    So, what does this mean in practice? Can networks air people dropping the f-bomb every other word now, or are things business as usual?

  4. SpaceyG says:

    Good question Paul. Likely more of the later… biz as usual. Then again, some may want to test their new boundaries, see if they are really real, that sorta thing. Go ask Les Moonves!

  5. jsm says:

    Back in a simpler, gentler day the public would not tolerate profanity, bathroom talk, etc. The FCC didn’t have to ban these things, because they wouldn’t sell anyway. I could certainly live without it, but times have changed. I think there still is a segment of society that will oppose talk that is offensive to them and will look for entertainment that is free of the unnecessary vulgarity. I support the free market, and I’m interested to see the effects of this decision on television and radio and how the “family friendly” segment will weigh in.

  6. liberator says:

    Great victory for the First Amendment! The FCC (Federal Censorship Commission) is unconstitutional and should be abolished. let Liberty and the Free-Market System rule without censorship from the Puritans.

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