La Dolce Vita

A few thoughts from Steven Rockford
JULY 13, 2010 5:06PM

Court overturns the FCC's “George Carlin Rule.”

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It’s about f@#king time!


In 1978, George Carlin sent the airwave-regulators into a tizzy when he broadcast his “Seven Dirty Words” monologue on national radio.  This prompted a Supreme Court decision that led to a new Federal Communication Commission (FCC) indecency rule that has been in place ever since.  Today, this rule was overturned by a three-judge panel in New York.   

The original FCC rule on “unscripted expletives” established a $32,500 fine for each incidence of live-broadcast profanity.  This amount was increased to $325,000 after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe-malfunction at the 2006 Super Bowl. 

According to an article in the LA Times: 

“A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the government's longstanding prohibition against indecency on broadcast television and radio, ruling that the policy was 'unconstitutionally vague' and created a 'chilling effect' that violated the 1st Amendment protection of free speech.”

This change in profanity-controls won’t have any effect on the majority of TV and radio broadcasts, which are pre-recorded. 

But, it’ll be interesting to see if there will be more potty-mouthed quests on live late-night shows like SNL.


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I just want the madness, like "frikkin" to stop! Plus, the censoring that they do makes it very clear what it is that the person says.