Leave It The “Fuck” Alone

The Supreme Court punted today on the question of whether FCC cursing regulations violated the First Amendment. An amusing bit from the write-up:

In the case before the court, three broadcasts were targeted by the FCC: an NYBD Blue episode on ABC showing a shot of a bare female buttocks, and two Billboard Awards shows on Fox Television that broadcast fleeting expletives. Kennedy wrote that singer Cher and "a person named Nicole Richie" had both used the F-word on the awards shows. Richie had used the S-word as well in her remarks: "Have you ever tried to get cow s*** out of a Prada purse? It’s not so f***ing simple."

David Orentlicher scratches his head:

The Court’s discomfort with indecency is not surprising. The justices’ discomfort reflects that of much of society. Indeed, they could not bring themselves to actually say the F-word at oral argument. But once again, it leaves us to wonder why our society seems to worry more about exposing children to even brief uses of profanity or depictions of nudity than it does about exposing kids to prolonged violence. … Recall, for example, that last year, the Court invoked the first amendment to override California’s ban on the sale of violent video games to minors, and two years ago, the Court rejected on first amendment grounds a federal statute that outlawed "crush" videos depicting the torture and killing of animals.