I am not a fan of the Federal Communications Commission’s power to limit television and radio broadcasts on the basis of ‘decency.’ Broadcast networks have a right to free speech (and the argument that broadcast airwaves are public property is spurious, since free speech applies to public property too). If you want to ‘protect’ your children from Janet Jackson’s nipple, use the V-Chip to lock out the channels you don’t approve of or make your children read books instead; that’s your job, not the government’s. But the FCC’s new regulations against even ‘fleeting’ expletives on live TV—desperately harmful words like f### and s### that have been staples of schoolyard conversation since I was in fifth grade—went too far, and thankfully the federal appeals court in New York agrees.

  • Court Tosses FCC Indecency Ruling (AdWeek [no longer available]).