"US braces for flood of celebrity F-words"


That was the headline yesterday from across the pond. The Times of London headline suggested that American celebrities will be looking for open mikes so they can get the same publicity that Cher, Bono and Nicole Richie got for their live TV comments. The story from their US correspondent didn't really live up to the catty headline, providing a nuts and bolts account of how a federal appeals court rejected the FCC's changing of its indecency policy as "arbitrary and capricious" and then FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's expletive-laden response.

RBR observation: We think the idea that network TV in the US is now going to be replete with celebrities tossing around F-bombs every time there's an open mic is ludicrous. CBS certainly didn't welcome the fallout it got from Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl halftime show – not because the FCC is investigating it as a possible indecency violation, but because thousands of parents were outraged that it occurred in a show watched by lots of children.

The networks aren't going to let some foul-mouthed entertainer have carte blanche to tell dirty jokes during a live program with wide family appeal. On the other hand, little kids don't have much interest in watching Hollywood awards shows. If a naughty word slips out at 9:59, rather than after the safe harbor kicks in a minute later, there aren't likely to be many tender ears in the audience.