: Reuters says that three of five FCC commissioners have voted to turn down complaints about the use of the F word in Saving Private Ryan. Yes, that’s no surprise. But because the FCC refused to do that before the movie was to air — and because the FCC had just ruled that the F word was the first word decreed by government to be profane — 66 stations refused to show Ryan and I say they were right: They did not want to put themselves at risk for breaking the law the FCC had just made.
I quote from the FCC’s Bono decision:
…[W]e believe that, given the core meaning of the “F-Word,” any use of that word or a variation, in any context, inherently has a sexual connotation….
We conclude that the answer to this question is yes. The “F-Word” is one of the most vulgar, graphic and explicit descriptions of sexual activity in the English language. Its use invariably invokes a coarse sexual image…. If the Commission were routinely not to take action against isolated and gratuitous uses of such language on broadcasts when children were expected to be in the audience, this would likely lead to more widespread use of the offensive language….. The fact that the use of this word may have been unintentional is irrelevant; it still has the same effect of exposing children to indecent language. Our action today furthers our responsibility to
safeguard the well-being of the nation’s children from the most objectionable, most offensive language….
We also find, as an independent ground, that the use of the phrase at issue here in the context and at the time of day here constitutes “profane” language under 18 U.S.C.