Stupid Free Speech Tricks
- In 2002, at the Billboard Music Awards show, Cher was asked about critics on live TV (Fox) about critics. "F*** them," she said.
- The next year, in Fox coverage of the same show on the same network, Nicole Ritchie said on live TV, "Have you ever tried to get cow s*** out of a Prada purse? It's not so f***ing simple."
Obviously, the responsibility is too much for them, and we have no legal mechanism to punish them because there is no federal Public Stupidity Act. They're free to show themselves to be crude, inarticulate lugs on national television, so we have no choice but to use federal regulation, via the FCC, to command the companies that use the public airwaves to monitor decency.
Yesterday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Fox has no responsibility to protect us from such fleeting and one-time use of profanity. Do they think we can trust celebrities not to exploit such a ruling? Of course we can't; if allowed to stand, the ruling puts us on the pathway to filthy language as a routine occurrence on the public airwaves.
I sympathize with Fox and the networks. They didn't script the outbursts, there were no second takes to get the proper emphasis on the f-word. But they profit considerably from their access to the airwaves, so how hard would it be for the broadcast industry to implement a voluntary 3-second delay on all live broadcasts?
The airwaves don't just belong to Cher or Ritchie or Rupert Murdock. They also belong to those of us who don't use and don't like to hear profanity, and they belong to youngsters who shouldn't have words like that modeled by stars.
Hopefully an appeal to a hopefully more intelligent review by the full 2nd Circuit is next; and if that fails, on to the Supremes.
This is not a decision that should stand. We can't let celebrity idiots and the networks that live off their outrageous behavior determine what the public hears.
And we certainly can't trust the left to protect us, as comments at HuffPost show:
With all the right=wing kooks on the current US Supreme Court, this ruling may not stand up to appeal. Still, it is refreshing to see someone stand up to the pearl clutching, mincing prisspots that the Great Decider has appointed to the FCC.And from the always paranoid faction:
Obviously some favoritism in the Bush appointed legal system. ;)hat-tip: Real Clear Politics
CBS and Fox both scrutinized for pre-2004 incidents. After the fact, CBS is fined $550 MILLION and Fox doesn't have to pay a penny.
Why is that? Hypocricy in action? Or just more Neocon double-standards??