why Vleeptron is cooler than American television and radio
Friday 14 April 2006
TV stations challenge
FCC profanity decisions
by Jeremy Pelofsky
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Major U.S. television networks and their affiliates said on Friday they have asked appeals courts to overturn decisions by regulators finding broadcasters violated decency standards by airing profanity.
News Corp.'s Fox Television Stations Inc. and CBS Broadcasting Inc. asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York to declare the decisions by the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, unlawful.
The FCC decisions were "unconstitutional, contrary to the relevant statutes, arbitrary and capricious and contrary to law," the broadcasters said in their filing. General Electric Co.'s NBC filed to participate in the New York case siding with the broadcasters.
Walt Disney Co.'s ABC Inc. and Hearst-Argyle's Kansas City affiliate filed a similar appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. More than 800 television network affiliates joined the court efforts.
U.S. regulations bar television broadcast stations from airing obscene material and limit them to airing indecent material, such as profanity and sexually explicit content, during late-night hours when children are less likely to be in the audience.
"The FCC overstepped its authority in an attempt to regulate content protected by the First Amendment, acted arbitrarily and failed to provide broadcasters with a clear and consistent standard for determining what content the government intends to penalize," the broadcasters said in a statement.
An FCC spokeswoman countered the legal challenges by noting that the Supreme Court 20 years ago upheld a decision that found indecent comedian George Carlin's monologue about the seven dirty words that cannot be said on television and radio.
"Today Disney, Fox, and CBS challenged that precedent and argued they should be able to air two of those same words," said the spokeswoman Tamara Lipper. "The commission is reviewing their filings and will defend its order."
The FCC rulings were part of a bigger decision that included $3.3 million in proposed fines against broadcast television stations in other decency cases. The fines are not final so court challenges have not yet been attempted.
One analyst said the networks have a chance at winning since the courts have not addressed a decency case in years and it is hard to define what constitutes indecent content.
"The networks have a decent chance of getting the FCC decision overturned," said Blair Levin, an analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. "The difficulty of line drawing is so much of it is about context."
© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved.
Here's George Carlin's comedy routine from around 1986 that established the FCC's current list of words that can never be broadcast on American TV or radio.
Seven Dirty Words
by George Carlin
I love words. I thank you for hearing my words. I want to tell you something about words that I uh, I think is important. I love ... as I say, they're my work, they're my play, they're my passion. Words are all we have really.
We have thoughts, but thoughts are fluid. You know, [humming]. And, then we assign a word to a thought, [clicks tongue]. And we're stuck with that word for that thought. So be careful with words. I like to think, yeah, the same words that hurt can heal. It's a matter of how you pick them.
There are some people that aren't into all the words. There are some people who would have you not use certain words. Yeah, there are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven of them that you can't say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to seven. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous, to be separated from a group that large. All of you over here, you seven. Bad words. That's what they told us they were, remember? 'That's a bad word. "Awwww." There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad Intentions.
And words, you know the seven don't you? Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, huh? Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that will infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war.
Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, wow. Tits doesn't even belong on the list, you know. It's such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. "Hey, Tits, come here. Tits, meet Toots, Toots, Tits, Tits, Toots." It sounds like a snack doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is, right. But I don't mean the sexist snack, I mean, New Nabisco Tits. The new Cheese Tits, and Corn Tits and Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits Onion Tits, Tater Tits, Yeah. Betcha can't eat just one. That's true I usually switch off . But I mean that word does not belong on the list.
Actually, none of the words belong on the list, but you can understand why some of them are there. I am not completely insensitive to people's feelings. You know, I can dig why some of those words got on the list ... like cocksucker and motherfucker. Those are ... those are heavy-weight words. There's a lot going on there, man. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling. They're just busy words. There's a lot of syllables to contend with. And those K's. Those are aggressive sounds, they jump out at you. CocksuckerMotherfuckerCocksucker. It's like an assault, on you. So I can dig that.
And we mentioned shit earlier, of course. Two of the other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and Cunt, which go together of course. But forget about that. A little accidental humor there. Piss and Cunt. The reason Piss and Cunt are on the list is that a long time ago certain ladies said "Those are the two I am not going to say. I don't mind Fuck and Shit, but P and C are out. P and C are out." Which led to such stupid sentences as "OK, you fuckers, I am going to tinkle now."
And of course the word Fuck. The word Fuck, I don't really ... well, this is some more accidental humor, but I don't really want to get into that now. Because I think it takes too long. But I do mean that. I mean, I think the word fuck is an important word. It's the beginning of life, and, yet it's a word we use to hurt one other, quite often. And uh, people much wiser than I have said, I'd rather have my son watch a film with two people making love than two people trying to kill one other. And I of course agree. I wish I know who said it first, and I agree with that. But I would like to take it a step further. I would like to substitute the word fuck, for the word kill in all those movie cliches we grew up with. "Okay Sheriff, we're gonna fuck ya now. But we're gonna fuck ya slow." So maybe next year I'll have a whole fuckin' rap on that word. I hope so.
Uh, there are two-way words, but those are the seven you can never say on television. Under any circumstances you just can not say them ever, ever ever, not even clinically. You can not weave them in the panel with Doc and Ed and Johnny, I mean it's just impossible, forget those seven, they're out.
But, there are some two-way words. There are double-meaning words. Remember the ones your giggled at in sixth grade? "And the cock crowed three times." "Hey, the cock the cock crowed three times. It's in the bible." There are some Two-way words, like it's okay for Curt Gowdy to say "Roberto Clemente has two balls on him." But he can't say, "I think he hurt his balls on that play Tony, don't you? He's holding them. He must have hurt them by God." And the other two-way word that goes with that one is prick. It's okay if it happens to your finger. Yes, you can prick your finger, but don't finger your prick. No, no.
Besides being an alumnus of Monty Python, Eric Idle is an alumnus of Pembroke College, Cambridge University.
The FCC Song is a deliberately controversial and explicit song by British-born Monty Python comic Eric Idle. Idle, who later became a resident of the U.S. state of California, recorded the song in early 2004 in reaction to a fine by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for saying "fuck" on a Clear Channel radio station. The song is also known by its refrain "Fuck you very much." Despite being aimed at the FCC, the lyrics primarily target well-known figures associated with the George W. Bush administration. Idle stated about the song that
"... it's dedicated to the FCC and if they broadcast it, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars". (This calculation is based on the fine Idle had to pay for his use of the popular expletive.)
Idle has made the song freely available for download at the Monty Python website. The lyrics' strong anti-Republican stance has prompted numerous anti-Bush websites to link to the song or to mirror it. The word "fuck" occurs 14 times in the song.
An earlier song, "I Bet You They Won't Play This Song On The Radio," written and performed by Idle on Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album (1980), touched on this subject, but with two major differences: It limited its scorn to radio programmers and it bleeped (using various sound effects) the various obscenities. Accordingly, many programmers did indeed play that song on the radio.
The FCC Song
by Eric Idle
Here's a little number I wrote the other day while out duck hunting with a judge, QUACK
Fuck you very much the FCC
Fuck you very much for fining me
Five thousand bucks a fuck so I'm really out of luck
Thats more than Heidi Fliess was charging me.
So fuck you very much the FCC
For proving that free speech just isn't free
Clear Channel's a dear channel
so Howard Stern must go
Attorney General Ashcroft doesn't like strong words and so
He's charging twice as much as all the drugs for Rush Limbo
so Fuck you all so very much
So fuck you very much dear Mr. Bush
for heroically sitting on your tush
For Halliburton, Enron, all the companies who fail
Lets send them a clear signal and stick Martha straight in jail
She's an uppity rich bitch, but at least she isn't male
So fuck you all so very much
So fuck you dickhead Mr. Cheney too.
Fuck you and fuck everything you do.
Your pace maker must be fake
You haven't got a heart
As far as I'm concerned your just a pasty faced old fart
And as for Condolezza she an intellectual tart
So fuck you all so very much
So fuck you very much the EPA
For giving all Alaska's oil away
It really is a bummer
When I can't fill my Hummer
The ozone a no go zone now that Arnold's here to say
The nuclear winter games are going to take place in LA
So fuck you all so very much
So what the planet fails
Lets save the great white males
And fuck you all so very much