Analysis: Bozo And The Rev Tackle Fox Broadcasting Case

TWILIGHT ZONE – L. Brent "Bozo" Bozell III, writing in the Washington Times, claims he knows what the Fox Broadcasting v. FCC "fleeting obscenity" case is all about: The "beyond outrageous ... right to bombard your living room, and your children, with obscenities."

Of course, words don't "bombard" anybody; that's what the U.S. Armed Forces are doing to the civilians in Iraq – and the Iraqis to each other.

"They ["Hollywood's paladins"] will continue to argue that the concept of obscenity has been abolished by the V-chip, an intellectually dishonest position if ever there was one," Bozo dishonestly continued, since Hollywood has never made such a claim. "Never mind that, as has been proven many times already, the V-chip is useless when it depends on an industry-run ratings system that is at best flawed and at worst deliberately cooked, oftentimes refusing to include the right content descriptors to make the much-ignored device actually do its job."

Actually, Hollywood is constantly refining its descriptors because it hates when legitimate critics claim it's allowing too much sexual and/or violent content on the air when kids can see/hear it. They may not care about the First Amendment implications, but they care about advertising revenue.

"But even if the V-chip worked to perfection, it would still be useless in catching fleeting profanities of the unscripted sort," Bozo claims, betraying his lack of understanding of the difference between a "vulgarity" and a "profanity." (Hint: "Fuck" is a vulgarity"; "Goddamn" is a "profanity.") "The point is: Hollywood wants to air them. To them, it's all a waste of money to spare the benighted rabble in the little villages who haven't learned to stop worrying and love the F-bomb."

Again with the war allusions! Does this asshole actually think that anyone actually suffers the slightest mental (and certainly not physical) damage by hearing someone say "fuck" or "shit" or "goddamn" or "semprini"? (Monty Python fans, take note!) But Bozo loves to cast himself as the protector of the inhabitants of Flyover Country, most of whom have incorporated the words he doesn't like to hear into their everyday (and in some cases, every-other-sentence) vocabulary.

"Out in America, voters still have the common sense to believe profanities aren't the kind of speech you wave the flag over, as if 'fleeting' profanity were a cause as American as apple pie," he claims.

Actually, Boz', it is and they are! One of the things many veterans of WWII – America's last legitimate war – have said they were fighting for was the constitutional right of free speech – you know, the part of the First Amendment just after the one ("freedom of [and from] religion") that most conservatives are usually yammering about.

"Let us be very clear here," Bozo obfuscates. "The networks are not seeking legal protection from a single profanity. They are seeking the courts to recognize the inalienable right to swear like a sailor on TV at any time."

Of course, they aren't, since every time someone actually says "shit" or "damn" on the air, they get letters from Your Kind Of People claiming they'll never watch "that show" again – but considering the fact that most of the words Bozo objects to are in everyday usage across the nation, and considering that there are no (as in "NO!") studies that have found scientifically that anyone who hears one of the "seven dirty words" (or any others) is harmed in any way by having heard them, who should care? And no amount of repeating horseshit like "bombard" and "F-bomb" will change that "non-finding" – although it will probably get a few more donations to the religio-reactionary Parents Television Council, which Bozo founded.

"Even the titans of classic family entertainment, like Disney, have signed on to the anything-goes argument for airing profanity," Bozo "reports." "At a recent shareholders meeting, Disney President and CEO Robert Iger declared Disney joined the pro-vulgarity coalition 'because we believe it is our right to produce and distribute different kinds of products without interference from the federal government.' But wait: The same Robert Iger just last summer announced that Disney would bow to members of Congress and drop all smoking scenes from its family films and discourage such scenes in its Touchstone and Miramax pictures. Why would those requests for less smoking be a reasonable and admirable cause worth endorsing, but pleas for less swearing are an unbearable oppression?"


"Hollywood wouldn't need 'interference' from Washington if it would simply do what it knows is the right thing," Bozo concludes.

But the "right thing" is exercising one's constitutional rights ... and the Constitution doesn't say a damned thing about banning "indecent" words from TV and radio. That ban was put in place by "activist judges" – you know, the kind you and your people are always railing against!

Rev. Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, weighed in on a similar issue as well, in a press release today: The FCC fine levied against Fox for having aired pixelated nudity in an episode of its "reality" show, "Married in America."

"The FCC is to be commended for issuing a Forfeiture Order against Fox TV Network stations for airing program content that one might expect to see in a burlesque show, not in a medium that reaches into almost every American home and at a time of day when most children are still watching TV," The Rev blustered.

Well, for one thing, burlesque shows don't pixelate bare skin – but even if Fox didn't, what the fuck? As Lenny Bruce was fond of saying during his stage performances, while holding up a Playboy centerfold, "Do you see this body? Do you find it dirty? Well, your God, your Jesus Christ, made this body ... and if you have any objection to it, you should take it up with the manufacturer!"

"Despite their protestations, however, the problem is not that TV broadcasters can no longer discern community standards," The Rev continued. "The problem is that the networks no longer care about those standards."

Ah, if only there were a way to listen in on every conversation taking place in every city, town and farmhouse in the country, and monitor – and count! – every time any person said one of those "dirty words" that Peters and his ilk object to! Then we'd all know what the "community standard" of every city and county in America truly is – and it certainly isn't a place where no one says "shit," "fuck" or "goddamn" when kids can hear them. Moreover, it's impossible to believe that neither The Rev nor Bozo never heard those words when they were growing up, and yet, except for having their heads up their asses (figuratively, of course), they didn't turn out particularly warped from having heard the dread "profanities."

"The problem is that the media is dominated by individuals who have utter contempt for mainstream values and who confuse pushing the envelope with genuine creativity," The Rev concludes.

Shucks, Bob ... TV writers and actors are just more in tune with how people actually talk than you are; that's all.