I cause a fleeting expletive

This morning in an otherwise carefully bleeped-and-blurred segment, the CBS Early Show reported on the #fuckyouwashington hashtag. At the end, on my Mac screen, they showed the Trendsmap display of the hashtag popping up, like Howard Beale’s windows, across America:

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 12.17.37 PM

For a flash, you can see the word “fuck” Indeed, you can see it often. This is the very definition of a fleeting expletive.

Will the FCC and its henchmen dare to file a complaint? Do they have a sufficient sense of irony to stop them?

I have fought against the FCC and its unconstitutional efforts to restrict free speech. Here is a report on a FOIA I filed that showed that the FCC levied its then-largest fine ever on the basis of only three complaints (nevermind the damned spam links in the archive). When I testified at the FCC about the future of news, I began with the word “Bababooey” as a reminder that the FCC had chilled Howard Stern’s speech — his political speech — with its harassment and fines. I defend the word “bullshit” as political speech — and here will defend “fuck” as political speech as well.

Even as the Supreme Court reviews the FCC’s fleeting expletives doctrine, will it have the balls to go prosecute one more?

I dare you.

  • Steve Dickey (@SteveDickey)

    Just filed an FCC complaint about the broadcast. Think it will make a nice test case against those $%#@&$% indecency regulations.

    • WOW!

      Jeff didn’t even have to Triple Dog Dare Ya to do it….

      Thank You Jeff for standing up to “The Man” when the majority will chicken out and run the other way.


  • Go for it, Jeff :)

  • Kermonk

    One of the problems of america is that too many morons are wasting time on something as irrelevant as people saying FUCK on tv (or in twit chatrooms) – small minds wasting time on ridiculous bullshit when there are much bigger items to be concerned about. Like America jumping the shark big time.

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  • Tom

    Our constant 30% of certifiable loons focus on fuck and other expressions because that’s all they can handle. Bigger problems confuse them, so they focus on the lowest common denominator. Taxes, war, education, unemployment, just are so complicated…

  • When the time comes to contribute to a brick in your defense’s wall, count me in.

  • Neil in Chicago

    If you can’t say “fuck”, you can’t say “fuck the government”.

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  • Sacto1654

    Jeff, I’m not sure if what you did is a GOOD idea. We want real public discourse and a real solution to the debt ceiling crisis, not do something that adds to the political “noise” that feeds the flames of that poltical standoff.

  • I took on Jeff in Tweets over his promotion of an obscene hashtag. Nothing wrong with showing how angry people are, and rightly so. But as moderator of a lively forum, who makes judgment calls all day and night on what fits the term ‘offensive,’ I never have a problem booting ones like this (and we have an obscenity filter.) Not even going to the issue of younger people surfing the Web, I just find it personally offensive and counter-productive. Civil adults can express the depths of their anger without cheap four-letter words that offend a sizable segment of the population – even some who’d use it (or not object to it) in private conversation find it distasteful.

    • Andrew Davies

      It’s within your rights to call for civility (and more power power to you). It’s within Jeff’s (and the many many others) rights to express their outrage with language that offends you.

      And it’s within my rights to point out that we’ve all just been played for fools…


      It’s an atmosphere of crisis that lets them get away with setting up the next “crisis”.

  • Using profanity is simply for the unimaginative.

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