The Supreme Court said yesterday that the Federal Communications Commission may penalize even the occasional use of certain expletives on the airwaves but left for another day the question of whether such a policy is constitutional.*Side note: Apparently the FCC isn't completely satisfied.
The court's narrow ruling said the FCC -- prompted by Cher's use of the F-word during a 2002 live broadcast and similar remarks by what Justice Antonin Scalia called "foul-mouthed glitteratae from Hollywood" -- was justified in changing its policy in 2004 to fine broadcasters up to $325,000 every time certain words are allowed on the air.
"The commission could reasonably conclude that the pervasiveness of foul language, and the coarsening of public entertainment in other media such as cable, justify more stringent regulation of broadcast programs so as to give conscientious parents a relatively safe haven for their children," Scalia wrote for the five-member conservative majority.
Now, if I were the ranting type, I could scream about the logical fallacy that is "profanity." But that's not how I roll. Instead, here's what I'm thinking:
I mean, if our society weren't so fearful of these words, we'd've missed out on all of these:
(I know I'm cheating here with TV, but these are too good...)