Jun. 5th, 2007

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I was reading the NYT coverage of the court ruling on "fleeting expletives" (which is delightfully euphonious, no?) and I'm struck by the following:

The court's opinion hinges on the assertion that the use of a "fleeting expletive" clearly does not imply its literal meaning. Thus, “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.” The opinion specifically cites both Pres. Bush's insightful analysis of the power relationship between Syria and Hezbollah and Vice Pres. Cheney's eloquent rebuff of Sen. Leahy.

Does that mean that it's not actually the specific earthy words that are prohibited? Would the FCC slap a fine on a sitcom in which, having slammed his fingers in the door, a character screamed "Oh, fecal matter engaged in copulation! Oedipal fellator!"
rhu: (Default)
I was reading the NYT coverage of the court ruling on "fleeting expletives" (which is delightfully euphonious, no?) and I'm struck by the following:

The court's opinion hinges on the assertion that the use of a "fleeting expletive" clearly does not imply its literal meaning. Thus, “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.” The opinion specifically cites both Pres. Bush's insightful analysis of the power relationship between Syria and Hezbollah and Vice Pres. Cheney's eloquent rebuff of Sen. Leahy.

Does that mean that it's not actually the specific earthy words that are prohibited? Would the FCC slap a fine on a sitcom in which, having slammed his fingers in the door, a character screamed "Oh, fecal matter engaged in copulation! Oedipal fellator!"

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Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

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