Wednesday, 14 July 2010

It was Bono what done it

You could blame him and perhaps now thank him. It was the singer Bono at the 60th Golden Globes in Beverly Hills on January 19, 2003, who prompted the Federal Communications Commission in the United States to adopt a policy under which profanity referring to -ex or excrement was always considered indecent. Bono uttered the phrase “f-cking brilliant” during the awards show and the complaints poured in. But overnight the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan struck down the 2004 Federal Communications Commission policy that resulted. “By prohibiting all ‘patently offensive’ references to s-x, s-xual organs and excretion without giving adequate guidance as to what ‘patently offensive’ means, the FCC effectively chills speech, because broadcasters have no way of knowing what the FCC will find offensive,” the appeals court wrote. “To place any discussion of these vast topics at the broadcaster’s peril has the effect of promoting wide self-censorship of valuable material, which should be completely protected under the First Amendment,” it added.
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