NYT_Justices Ponder Fleeting Expletives

NYT_Justices Ponder Fleeting Expletives - ssawicki 1 of 4...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
ssawicki 1 of 4 November 5, 2008 Justices Ponder TV’s ‘Fleeting Expletives’ By ADAM LIPTAK WASHINGTON — If the Supreme Court does not act, the solicitor general of the United States somberly told its justices on Tuesday, the children of America may be in for some rude surprises. “The world that the networks are asking you to adopt here today, where the networks are free to use expletives,” said Gregory G. Garre, the solicitor general, may include “the extreme example of Big Bird dropping the F-bomb on ‘Sesame Street.’ ” In a lively argument heavy on euphemism and concern for the state of the culture, the Supreme Court considered the role of the Federal Communications Commission in regulating “fleeting expletives” on broadcast television — essentially, whether the government can penalize a network for letting a dirty word slip onto the air. The narrow question before the court was whether the commission had given a sound reason for changing its approach to the treatment of isolated, as opposed to repeated, swearing. For many years, the commission had looked the other way in cases involving the broadcast of a single, generally live and impromptu four-letter word. But in orders in 2004 and 2006 concerning unscripted swearing by Bono, Cher and Nicole Richie on awards shows, the commission said fleeting expletives might be punished after all. At Tuesday’s argument, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. appeared to agree with the commission’s contention that all uses of certain four-letter words run afoul of a regulation prohibiting material that “depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities or organs.”
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 4

NYT_Justices Ponder Fleeting Expletives - ssawicki 1 of 4...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online