This is America, the land of the free, where we can say and do what we please without some government overlord pushing us around about it. And there’s a landmark case coming up before the Supreme Court on November 4th, election day, dealing with just this: the right to accidentally drop the F-bomb on live TV and not get in trouble for it. What would our founding fathers do?
The case revolves around “fleeting expletives,” which are swears said offhand that aren’t planned for or repeated. It used to be the case that such instances weren’t fined by the FCC, but in 2006 the FCC fined Fox for true American heroes Cher and Nicole Richie swearing during the Billboard music Awards.
So Fox has been battling the fining in court ever since, and it’s now finally reaching the supreme court. Most first amendment scholars are on Fox’s side on this one, and I’d have to agree with them. If drunk, coked up celebs can’t swear accidentally on live TV and not face any consequences, is this really the land of the free? Maybe TV stations would get fined for stuff like this in North Korea, but not here. Hopefully the Supreme Court will end up on the side of justice, freedom and casual swearing. [Ars Technica]