PAYBACK TIME….The recent FCC crackdown on “fleeting vulgarities” has always struck me as little more than ludicrously misguided prudery, so I’m happy to see that an Appeals Court has struck it down. The court’s reasoning is just a cherry stuck on top:
The judges said vulgar words are just as often used out of frustration or excitement, and not to convey any broader obscene meaning. “In recent times even the top leaders of our government have used variants of these expletives in a manner that no reasonable person would believe referenced sexual or excretory organs or activities.”
Adopting an argument made by lawyers for NBC, the judges then cited examples in which Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had used the same language that would be penalized under the policy. Mr. Bush was caught on videotape last July using a common vulgarity that the commission finds objectionable in a conversation with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain. Three years ago, Mr. Cheney was widely reported to have muttered an angry obscene version of “get lost” to Senator Patrick Leahy on the floor of the United States Senate.
“Get lost” indeed. Karma is a bitch, isn’t it?