Surely you remember a few days back when Fox censored Sally Field at the Emmy’s because she tried to say the line, “If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any goddamned wars in the first place.”
At the time, I wondered if it was because Field was making a political statement or if it was because she said the word “goddamned.” To censor her for making an anti-war statement that innocuous would reveal their political leanings too blatantly, right? It was probably just the language she used.
Wrong. It turns out, assuming the worst out of Fox is always the right choice. This video by Robert Greenwald shows that not only have Fox commentators used the word “goddam” in the past, they’ve thrown it around playfully.
Now, admittedly, Field said the word on Fox, a network, and the commentators in this video said it on Fox News, a cable station. But that shouldn’t make a difference. According to the FCC, here are the standards for censoring material on any TV channel:
- An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest.
- The material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law.
- The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
This situation doesn’t fall into any of those three categories. Moreover, there is no list of words that are banned completely, ala George Carlin’s seven dirty words, and in this FCC ruling, “goddam” is specifically categorized as “not profane.”
(H/T Think Progress)