The judges had more to say, unfortunately. Trying to prevent dirty words is apparently outdated daily by the newest slang. "The English language is rife with creating ways of depicting sexual or excretory organs or activities," Pooler lectured, "and even if the FCC were able to provide a complete list of all such expressions, new offensive and indecent words are invented every day."
Therefore, it's OK to use language in front of a 6-year-old child that would have my syndicator fire me were I to include it in this newspaper column.
These judges clearly have a slant toward Hollywood excess. Pooler's opinion mocked the FCC for suggesting TV executives are more interesting in sleazy ratings gambits than decency: "While the FCC characterizes all broadcasters as consciously trying to push the envelope on what is permitted, much like a petulant teenager angling for a later curfew, the Networks have expressed a good faith desire to comply with the FCC's indecency regime."
Someone as naive -- no, someone as ignorant -- as this should not be writing opinions. I suspect the industry heads burst out laughing when they read it.
Anyone who's had half an eye on broadcast television in the last 10 years would not be so ridiculous as to suggest that Hollywood hasn't been trying to push the envelope on what frontier of dirty language, sex and violence it can surpass. Of course, broadcasters came into the courtroom to tell judges they've made a "good faith" effort. But the record shows -- the useless V-chip, the corrupted ratings system and so much else -- that they could care less.
After the decision, the broadcasters kept the phony routine going, insisting that nothing would change now on TV. "It's legally permissible for stations to air uncut R-rated movies after 10 p.m. -- or to have Letterman and Leno dropping F-bombs," said Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, told The Washington Post. "But you never see or hear that material from broadcasters because of the relationships and expectations we've built with our audiences over decades."
If there were such an "expectation" over "decades," it was the expectation that the networks could at least draw a line of decency at the nastiest, dirtiest words in front of children. But they've spent years now and fortunes of money advocating in court for the right to proclaim profanities at children in every hour of the broadcast day, and when they win, they suggest they never intend to push that envelope? Please.
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