Excuse my language. I’m sorry if I offended you, but I am extremely confused! How is it that our economy is circling the drain, the civil rights of gay people are being trampled upon, we are involved in two wars and the Supreme Court of the USA is hearing a case about “fleeting expletives” (AKA accidental use of the “F word” on live TV)? Is this really an issue so pressing that it needs to take up the time of the highest court in the country? I think not, and I am sure the many detainee’s at Guantanamo Bay awaiting their right to a trial would agree.
Basically, the Supreme Court is trying to decide whether or not the FCC can fine Fox for live TV programming during which stars like Cher, Bono and Nicole Richie dropped the “F bomb.” The FCC prohibits 4-letter words that “depict or describe sexual or excretory activities or organs.” However, they don’t really seem to be super consistent. Swear words during a broadcast of Saving Private Ryan were deemed ok, yet Cher’s utterance of “fuck ’em” is under contention.
I understand the need for some regulation. As the lawyer representing the FCC said, we don’t want to descend to a point where Big Bird starts dropping the F-bomb on ‘Sesame Street.’ On the other hand though, sometimes people swear. I know, shocking (but true). During a live event/performance the networks do not have full control. Furthermore, there is something that bugs me about the fact that the Supreme Court is hearing a case about Nicole Richie swearing on television when there are other important cases that probably deserve to be heard.
I can only imagine what is going on inside that courtroom. The reports that have leaked have ranged from the ridiculous to the downright surreal. I almost lost it when I heard that Justice John Paul Stevens pondered if “it’s ever appropriate to consider whether the particular remark was really hilarious — very, very funny.” You just have to laugh (otherwise you might cry). Also of note? The actual use of the word fuck in court is not allowed. Even during this case, in which swearing is the central point, the lawyers and justices are dancing around the terms. Being that everyone in the courtroom is an adult, I’m pretty sure they could handle hearing a swear word or two.
All in all, I really don’t know what to make of this case. I actually find it rather funny. I mean it’s just so ridiculous. I wish I could sit in and hear the arguments. Imagine these esteemed intellectuals having to discourse on the intended meanings of A-list celebrities when they used the word fuck. I bet they didn’t learn that in law school!