Supreme Court to reconsider profanity ban

Supreme Court to Review FCC Ban on Profanity. This refers to the ban on bad words on broadcast television, which has already been loosened quite a bit. I wager that the court will open the floodgates.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • TK

    It is really hard for me to think about discussing this topic without becoming very negative. The rules only apply to broadcast television and not cable – what’s that ratio? Probably 1 to 100. And radio seems not to be regulated very closely; even so-called family friendly stations in my market use near sexually-explicit language and raunchy stories in the middle of the day ALL THE TIME. There! I told you its a very negative subject. And yes, I pay for cable channels so I am part of the problem. We watch the sports channels and I block most of the rest, much to my teens irritation. ;)

  • TK

    It is really hard for me to think about discussing this topic without becoming very negative. The rules only apply to broadcast television and not cable – what’s that ratio? Probably 1 to 100. And radio seems not to be regulated very closely; even so-called family friendly stations in my market use near sexually-explicit language and raunchy stories in the middle of the day ALL THE TIME. There! I told you its a very negative subject. And yes, I pay for cable channels so I am part of the problem. We watch the sports channels and I block most of the rest, much to my teens irritation. ;)

  • Bror Erickson

    I stand with Carlin. The FCC is a joke, always has been. I’m glad that Radio no longer has to use sanctified language exclusively.

  • Bror Erickson

    I stand with Carlin. The FCC is a joke, always has been. I’m glad that Radio no longer has to use sanctified language exclusively.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    A very interesting topic. Cultural conservatives would seem to want the FCC to restrict profanity — indeed, if the 2004 change was made for any other reason than cultural conservatism, I’d like to know what that is.

    And yet, cultural conservatism also abhors nanny-state tactics, the government telling parents how to raise their children. So what is the cultural conservative opinion on this one? I have no idea, and I don’t imagine Bror is a representative opinion. But I really don’t know.

    Myself, I find it all rather archaic. Like TK pointed out (@1), very little of our content these days comes from “push” sources using public airwaves at fixed times. If someone wants to have unbowdlerized content, they have cable, DVDs, and the internet, and as a last resort, they can time-shift broadcast content from outside the “safe harbor” times. So what is the point of this government bureaucracy set up to keep us safe from ourselves, if we don’t really seem to want that as a population?

    Having spent several years as a college DJ, I’m a bit more familiar than most with the inanity of FCC rules. What always amused me was that not only does the FCC care about what definition of a particular profanity is being used (is it merely an exclamation, or are you really using that in the biological sense?), but they sought to ban only the word when used in its most literal (biological) sense. That is: you can use that word, but don’t use it to mean what it actually means. Okay, then.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    A very interesting topic. Cultural conservatives would seem to want the FCC to restrict profanity — indeed, if the 2004 change was made for any other reason than cultural conservatism, I’d like to know what that is.

    And yet, cultural conservatism also abhors nanny-state tactics, the government telling parents how to raise their children. So what is the cultural conservative opinion on this one? I have no idea, and I don’t imagine Bror is a representative opinion. But I really don’t know.

    Myself, I find it all rather archaic. Like TK pointed out (@1), very little of our content these days comes from “push” sources using public airwaves at fixed times. If someone wants to have unbowdlerized content, they have cable, DVDs, and the internet, and as a last resort, they can time-shift broadcast content from outside the “safe harbor” times. So what is the point of this government bureaucracy set up to keep us safe from ourselves, if we don’t really seem to want that as a population?

    Having spent several years as a college DJ, I’m a bit more familiar than most with the inanity of FCC rules. What always amused me was that not only does the FCC care about what definition of a particular profanity is being used (is it merely an exclamation, or are you really using that in the biological sense?), but they sought to ban only the word when used in its most literal (biological) sense. That is: you can use that word, but don’t use it to mean what it actually means. Okay, then.

  • Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    I very much doubt I am a representative opinion on this. But I know a few others that feel the same way. If you don’t like the show turn the channel, or turn the T.V. off and find a book.

  • Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    I very much doubt I am a representative opinion on this. But I know a few others that feel the same way. If you don’t like the show turn the channel, or turn the T.V. off and find a book.

  • Bror Erickson

    But hey we in the Missouri Synod don’t need the fcc, we have our own methods of censureship.

  • Bror Erickson

    But hey we in the Missouri Synod don’t need the fcc, we have our own methods of censureship.


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