We now hold that the FCC’s policy violates the First Amendment because it is unconstitutionally vague, creating a chilling effect that goes far beyond the fleeting expletives at issue here.
I led a very sheltered life in the sixties. My parents never swore, nor did my aunts, uncles or grandparents (although on occasion my Lithuanian grandma would mutter something under her breath that may or may not have been inappropriate). Sure the folks drank and smoked and fought a lot but who didn't? Haven't you ever seen Madmen? Occasionally a "hell" or "damn" and rarely a "shit" but never a "fuck" or (my personal favorite) a "shitfuckers". I remember being totally shocked when I saw my father give someone the finger and yelling "yeah, right here!" when he was driving me to school. At the time I didn't even know what it meant but I was shocked, shocked, I tell ya and I knew it was something bad because when I asked him about it he told me to shut up. A defining moment in my life or, for some reason, one I remember. I lost my innocence right there. In the suburbs of Philly the unpleasantness was 20 miles away, Vietnam was some pictures in Life magazine or (I shit you not- I think I don't, anyway - you know how memory is) an episode on American Sportsman or Wide World of Sports about hunting Viet Cong and the hippies with their reefers and LS and D were off in San Francisco.
But there have to be some standards or chaos will reign. I'd be a different (and probably not a better) person if I grew up watching Howdy Fucking Doody or if Mr. Rogers looked out at me and said, "Won't you be my neighbor, you little fucker." Adult and children's programing should be held to different standards. I don't want to have to explain what a blow job is when my grandkids and I are watching Hannah Montanah. And I don't want to hear Caillou's dad say when Caillou comes in the bedroom after having a bad dream, "Get the fuck out of here, you bald headed freak, I'm trying to do your mom." And what if, because of the ADA, they have to keep Nina (Melanie was fired because she appeared in two spoof PSA's - too bad - I liked her and PBS can suck it) on the Good Night Show even after it is discovered that she has developed Tourettes?