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The W - Current Events & Politics - Lawmaker Targets Profanity on Airwaves (Page 2)
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Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#21 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.36
I have a question on this subject:

What if the CROWD at a live event start chanting HOLY SHIT or BULLSHIT, like when the ring collapsed on Smackdown back in the summer? Can the stations airing the show get fined? Are live sport and sport related programs given a little leeway?

Looking at all the discussion concerning censorship, I think most of it is bullshit. For goodness sakes, if what's on the TV or radio offends you, change the channel.

(edited by SOK on 19.12.03 1429)


Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02

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#22 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.79
    Originally posted by SOK

    I have a question on this subject:
    What if the CROWD at a live event start chanting HOLY SHIT or BULLSHIT, like when the ring collapsed on Smackdown back in the summer? Can the stations airing the show get fined? Are live sport and sport related programs given a little leeway?


Probably not. If the broadcaster is airing a live event, then they usually have a buy. Although it might only apply to news oriented programming. And the same does not apply to call-in shows... you are responsible for what callers say on the air.

Incidentally, the FCC usually only responds to complaints. They don't go around listening - but rather, someone listening to a station will file a complaint against that station with the FCC, and the FCC will review it. So most likely, an incident during the broadcast of a live event would be very unlikely to receive complaint - or that the FCC would rule against them.

Regradless, stations are always subject to whim of the FCC - they are not a court of law, so precedent does not apply. And they are the ones who determine whether a broadcaster get's to retain their license, which is subject to renewal every 7 years. So typically, everyone tries to play it safe.

The issue I have with the "Bono f-word" is not that the FCC let it go - but they let it go for the reasons they did (unless the event was pre-taped, but I assume it was live). The FCC could have simply said, "Hey, it was a live event - they didn't know Bono was going to curse" and that should have been the end of it.

But the FCC let it go because it didn't refer to a sexual or excretory act.... which is inconsistent with what they have done in the past, and implies that it's okay to use those words at any time as long as it doesn't refer to one of those acts. In radio, using any of the 7 dirty words before 10pm was always off limits regardless of the context. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

For what it's worth, all my experience is in non-commercial radio, not television, so there may be some differences (I think radio is actually stricter regarding these kinds of things). But I believe the rules are pretty much the same.

    Originally posted by CRZ

    Interesting that they didn't include "God damn," which some people find to be the ULTIMATE perjorative.


This might not make any sense, but this is how I understand the FCC's intention. "God-Damn" is only a profanity if you actually mean "God damn". In other words, if you believe in God and are calling for God to actually "damn" someone, then it is profanity under the FCC's rules and thus not allowed. Very hard to prove, and I know of no station that has ever been fined for airing that phrase.



Edit: Sorry if this was a bit much - I have a bit of a passion for this stuff. Hopefully, there something useful for someone....

(edited by Leroy on 19.12.03 1502)


"It's hard to be a prophet and still make a profit."
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