Thursday, October 04, 2007

The lunacy of the FCC continues...

It's not just the FCC's issue -- it's the problem of anyone who hears only a so-called obscenity and willfully ignores everything else that's around it. I can only feel pity for people who can't handle a so-called "bad word"; you're really missing out on life if you're wasting energy and brainpower protesting four-letter words.
Janet Coleman, WBAI’s arts director, said that when the idea of airing the poem to test the law was proposed, “I said, ‘Yes, let’s try it.’” The radio station has a history of championing the First Amendment, having broadcast the comedian George Carlin’s “seven dirty words” routine that resulted in a 1978 Supreme Court ruling on indecency. But after several harsh F.C.C. rulings in 2004 — against CBS for a glimpse of Janet Jackson’s breast during the Super Bowl halftime show and against Fox for curse words used during the Billboard Music Awards — “our lawyer felt it was too risky,” Ms. Coleman said. The commission can impose “draconian fines,” she said, that could put WBAI out of business.

In 2005 Congress raised limits on fines for obscenity, enabling the F.C.C. to charge up to $325,000 for every violation of its standards. The commission marks the hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. as a time when the airwaves should be free of offensive language.

“It seems like déjà vu all over again,” said Al Bendichs, one of the lawyers who argued the case in 1957.
I think Ginsberg being gay has more than a little to do with it. And, frankly, I think Janet Jackson's being black had more than a little to do with that particular kerfuffle. (Had it been Britney Spears, it would have been considered hot stuff.) Poisonous prejudices always have a way of rearing their ugly heads in thinly-veiled disguises.

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