Red Sox' David Ortiz Unleashes An Expletive During Televised Speech; FCC Says 'F**k It'
from the considering-the-Bostonian-'spirit,'-it's-amazing-it-was-just-the-one dept
At times, there's no one in a more unenviable position than the chairman of the FCC. When not dealing with larger issues like net neutrality and wireless competition, you're at the beck and call of every member of an Overly Concerned Citizens' Group that feels the need to start a letter-writing campaign any time an expletive hits the airwaves.
Bono fired off an f-bomb at the Grammys and someone let Nicole Richie make the most of her what-am-I-for fame by giving her a microphone and allowing her to explain how difficult removing cow shit from a Prada purse is. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has twice found the FCC's rules on so-called "fleeting expletives" to be a violation of the First Amendment. That, of course, matters little to angry letter writers who somehow believe The Children will be encouraged to swear by potty-mouthed celebs.
(As if every 8-year-old in the nation wasn't using these words already. I don't remember exactly when I started swearing but I do remember the first time I got busted for it: 4th grade. This may seem precocious [or developmentally-challenged -- YMMV], but keep in mind that Tim Geigner fired off his first expletive sometime during his second trimester.)
Do-gooders on one side, real people on the other. In between, the FCC stands as a porous bulwark against inadvertent live sweariness. It can't stop it. It can't even hope to contain it. And when someone hits the airwaves during a celebratory event following a horrible tragedy, chances are they're going to speak freely. And by "freely," I mean they'll be using the sort of language that most Americans use when emotionally charged.
It was, in five words, the encapsulation of a city's defiance – bowed, but never broken. Not even close. It also happened to be NSFW (not safe for work). Or children. Or anyone in Mr. Rogers' neighborhood.Normally, this sort of casual swearing would net the offending network a $1 million fine (which would then be thrown out by the court). Not this time. Instead, FCC head Julius Genachowski took to the new face of journalism -- Twitter -- and declared his (and his office's) solidarity with the people of Boston.
It was the declaration by legendary Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in pregame ceremonies Saturday, which were broadcast nationwide.
"This is our f------ city, and nobody's going to dictate our freedom."
David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston - Julius— The FCC (@FCC) April 20, 2013
Perhaps Genachowski, with one foot out the door, preferred to leave on a high note and with his (and Boston's) dignity intact. An incoming FCC head may reverse Genachowski's Twittered decision, but that person would need a heart of stone and a lobotomy to pursue any action against the network for airing a triumphant, cathartic speech unedited. Perhaps the classiest thing to do would be to let it ride and maybe throw JG a Boston-style parting gift.