Monday, June 4, 2007

Federal Court: Stop the Censorship

Today, a federal appeals court in New York struck down FCC regulations that create penalities for airing "indecent" words over broadcast TV. The lawsuit was filed against the FCC by the four major broadcast networks - NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox. Under the Bush Administration, the FCC has been taking a much stronger approach towards punishing networks for language, particularly accidental and unplanned expletives. The court ruled that these blurted words were typically said out of momentary emotion, and were therefore not truly obscene, in context. The decision also cites the use of curse words by Bush and Cheney to illustrate that the Bush Administration's claim that words like "fuck" automatically carry a sexual connotation is ridiculous. I think that this court ruling is a great victory for free speech. While broadcast television should generally be appropriate, the Bush Administration has obviously overreached in punishing networks for uncontrollable moments of live TV. The Bush Administration's Orwellian behavior is the perfect example of why censorship should not be a government function.


Anonymous said...

Curiously, none of the previously forbidden words has ever appeared on this website. Gentile, respectful language seems to be the order of the day.

Or do you censor posts? If you do, then you are a bunch of fucking hypocrites.

David Nachman said...

There's been no censorship here. I guess I'm such a nice guy, nobody's told me to fuck off yet. Feel free.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I don't believe that language like this has any place on websites or in media that is accessible to my kids. Therefore, I don't agree with your post about a "great victory". I don't quite see how the freedom of expression guaranteed in the 1st Amendment is infringed by not being able to swear on TV.