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Supreme Court Shoots Down Televised Profanity

| Filed under: TV NewsLegal Matters


On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the FCC the power to censor and fine broadcast television networks that air profanity, no matter the context!

"Even when used as an expletive, the F-word's power to insult and offend derives from its sexual meaning," the conservative Justice Antonin Scalia argued to the Court.

The FCC's previous ban on expletives was reversed in 2004 after Bono's Golden Globes acceptance speech when the U2 frontman described something as "really, really, f—ing brilliant" live on NBC.

If Bono were drop the f-bomb on air today???

NBC might as well dump their wallets onto the desk of the FCC!

Justice John Paul Stevens doesn't agree with the Supreme Court's new ruling on profanity - he believes that the context of the expletive is what makes it indecent, not the word itself.

"As any golfer who has watched his partner shank a short approach knows, it would be absurd to accept the suggestion that the resultant four-letter word uttered on the golf course describes sex or excrement and is therefore indecent," said Stevens. "But that is the absurdity the FCC has embraced in its new approach to indecency."

The question now is whether or not the Supreme Court is violating the networks' First Amendment rights with the ban.

Andrew Jay Schwartzman, head of the Media Access Project isn't ready to give up the fight just yet!

"We remain hopeful that the FCC's restrictive policies will ultimately be declared unconstitutional, but there will be several more years of uncertainty, and impaired artistic expression, while the lower courts address the First Amendment issues which the court chose not to confront today," Schwartzman said on Tuesday.

Fight the power!

[Image via L. Gallo/WENN.]

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38 comments to “Supreme Court Shoots Down Televised Profanity”

  1. 1

    Fuck that

  2. 2


  3. 3

    blah! who cares

  4. 4


  5. CHA says – reply to this



  6. CHA says – reply to this



  7. 7


  8. 8

    Fuck the FCC!

  9. 9


  10. 10

    Lol u americans…..

  11. 11

    wow, thats too bad….

  12. 12

    Strange…..nipples ERAZED…..words such as "fuck" forbidden…while THE REST OF THE WORLD really has got OTHER problems! :-)

  13. 13

    The Fcc is a joke, Just ask howard stern, but the real question here is although the Fcc regulates what you can see and say on tv, what about the seperation of church and state? I for one would love to see all these"Faith" based programings off the air, Not every one is a christian, yet every sunday these "Faith" based christian programs infiltrate the public airways, which i for one find more offensive than whatever bono or stern for that matter ever have said.

  14. 14

    couldnt be bothered to read all that bullshit, but man is he looking old,, looks like any old irish drunk in the nack of the bar.. i guess money cant buy you looks

  15. 15

    Fight the power? I thought you weren't about FREE SPEECH.

  16. 16

    yay government controlling every aspect of our lives

    can't people choose to not watch stations that air profanity? can't there be a warning label instead of an outright ban?

    banning language use is an arcane practice that will only be changed in the future. The Supreme Court should uphold the Constitution, not their beliefs.

  17. 17

    plus, which stations will be broadcasted anymore? We're switching over to digital cable and nothing will be broadcasted… so will this change in June?

  18. 18

    The fines should go to the potty mouths, be interesting to see these cutting edge, rebel rock star egomaniacs swear when they'd be footing the bill. Fuckin twats!

  19. MP says – reply to this


    I don't consider it a free speech issue, I consider it a decency issue. If you want free speech, subscribe to HBO.

  20. MC says – reply to this


    I believe he was talking about Bob Marley, that his lyrics were fucking brilliant, and they are…

  21. 21

    People had more self control 50 years ago. People had a better vocabulary then too. If you restrict profanity and edit out the "you knows" in modern conversations, then you realize there's not much being said at all. Liberals want to say FUCK in a church and have everyone compliment them for being so enlightened. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe they'll want to draw hard cocks everywhere using whiteout .

  22. 22

    this is a waste of time, effort and tax dollars….

    I get offended when someone says 'obscene'…but, here is, the fcc just saying it over and over and over again…..

    this is so stupid

  23. 23

    good- an F WORD is still the F WORD no matter how you say it!!

  24. 24


  25. 25

    Personally, I don't want there to be swearing on television. I don't want my future children hearing swears everywhere they go and getting them off of television is one step there.

    I understand everyone thinks it's SO GREAT and enlightening to swear, but I personally don't want to hear it. So all power to the FCC.

  26. 26

    it is pointless, you don't stop people swearing with these rules. they will hear it anyway, and if you don't want to hear swearing then where does it stop, someone else might not like people speaking too fast, we gonna ban that?

  27. 27

    can't we keep anything sacred? fuck.

  28. 28

    I love america. You can own an ak47 but you cant swear on tv.

  29. 29

    Listen to any group of children walking home from school. They will be cussing like prepubescent demoniacs possessed by the spirit of the Black Death, and you can finally get the impression that they have all suffered severe brain damage. Why is this taken as a sign of progress? It looks (and sounds) more like a symptom of total societal collapse.

  30. 30

    come to Australia prez
    you can swear on tv over here as long as its after 9.30

    even the "c" word

  31. 31

    Oh, yes. By all means let's get more filth on the air. There seriously is not enough on TV already. In fact, let's invent new and dirtier cuss words and spread them around.

  32. 32

    Re: dwiggy – The Constitution requires separation of church and state only in the context that we cannot establish a state religion such as the Church of England or the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The leftards have been spreading propaganda for 50 years and now uneducated dopes like you have no idea what the Constitution says or means.

  33. 33

    I still want to give you that huge ridiculous hug! I could use one too. Ymi ms, bg. ywbtwji 46

  34. 34

    fuck that, these fucking cock sucking sons of bitches in office and ruling on this shit is absolutely fucking ridiculous. who gives a fucking shit what people say. if their worried about kids hearing curse words trust me, they hear a lot more curse words from their family than they would on tv. last i heard there's countries that let it all go on public tv. particularly after 10pm. Hells kitchen in the UK is aired with censors and then after 10pm they reair it uncut with all the curses in it. So why the fuck can't this country lighten up and let it go! if its in the dictionary it should be allowed to be said on tv. FUCK DA POLICE or in this case … Supreme court cocksuckers!

  35. 35

    We have to have some values I guess but on the other hand, I am a firm believer in "If you don't like it change the damn channel"

  36. 36

    Again those freedom loving fasicsts ,the repbulicans on the surpeme court vote for censorship,they are such nazis. Scalia is scum. Thomas is trash. Roberts is rancid.

  37. 37

    Again those freedom loving fascists ,the repbulicans on the surpeme court vote for censorship,they are such nazis. Scalia is scum. Thomas is trash. Roberts is rancid.

  38. Jords says – reply to this


    Why must you be for everything depraved and immoral in the world, Perez? Cursing offends me, I don't do it AND I wouldn't want my little nephew or cousins hearing it on television. Stop hating everything moral and classy in this world-even if you are neither.