TV Profanity

TV profanity, put simply, is the act of saying something considered profane on television. However, the reason you're interested in reading about this topic is because of how funny it is when old people get angry as fuck when you use the word "fuck."

Although its name initially generated high product interest, the Sony Swear Box sold poorly in most retail stores.

Just The Facts

  1. In 2007, the word "fuck" was spoken on prime time television 1,147 times on 184 different programs.
  2. For American speakers, "fuck" and "shit" comprise nearly half of all used swear words.
  3. Your kids will hear cuss words on TV at some point, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Accept this reality, and make the necessary adjustments.

Seven Dirty Words

In 1972, well-reknowned American philosopher George Carlin gave a list of what he observed to be the seven swear words that you couldn't say on TV:

  1. Shit
  2. Piss
  3. Fuck
  4. Cunt
  5. Cocksucker
  6. Motherfucker
  7. Tits

Carlin also performed this routine in 1973, and it was broadcast uncensored by Pacifica radio station WBAI-FM later that year. However, a local douchebag named Jon Douglas heard it while driving in his car with his son, and proceeded to get his panties into one of the biggest wads ever recorded in modern times. Douglas tattled by filing a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which attempted to place sanctions on Pacifica Foundation. Pacifica appealed these sanctions, but in 1978 the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the FCC. As a result, cussing was no longer allowed on public broadcasts from 6 AM to 10 PM, and no one hung out with that douchebag Jon Douglas ever again.

The FCC vs. Fox Television

In the 2000s, a controversy arose regarding television profanity when Fox Network once again pissed off the world. It started after a couple of Billboard Music Award shows in which celebrities that nobody cared about let slip the f-bomb on television. As a result, the FCC attempted to ban "fleeting expletives" along with the already banned "stationary expletives." Thus began the three-way struggle between Fox, the FCC, and all the other Americans who just wanted the station to switch back to the fucking game.

At the 2002 Billboard Music Awards, an elderly Cher shocked viewers as she responded to critics by saying, "Fuck 'em." (Even more shocking was the fact that Cher did something and people actually gave a shit.) In 2003, Nichole Richie was at the Music Awards despite her status as a completely useless member of American society. When for some reason she was speaking to the audience, Richie responded to a question regarding her role in one of the dumbest TV shows ever: "Why do they even call it The Simple Life? Have you ever tried to get cow shit out of a Prada purse? It's not so fucking simple." Naturally, people were furious at Richie for using profane language, and even more furious at the fact that she was still more famous than them despite never having done a single important thing ever.

Not important

Not important.

But shit really hit the fan at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards on NBC, when U2 lead singer Bono accepted an award by calling it "really, really fucking brilliant." Every member of the Parents Television Council immediately shit their pants, changed their pants, and shit them again, and then immediately expressed their moral outrage. The council pestered NBC for allowing the use of the f-word, and began efforts to file a complaint to the FCC, adding to the list of all the other important things they spend their time doing. The council's indignant sentiments make perfect sense if you focus only on one cuss word and ignore all the other ways that Bono is a great role model for your kids.

In 2004, the FCC took action by placing a ban on any form of expletive used on television. Previously, it had allowed for what it called "fleeting expletives," which is a friendly term for cuss words spoken unintentionally in front of innocent children, but the FCC decided to place stricter regulations regarding profanity on television, and to fine broadcasting stations that aired expletives. This pissed Fox Network the fuck off, and Fox appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals (naturally), which ruled that the FCC had no right to punish broadcasting stations for profanity, and that the FCC should go home, grow some balls, and stop being such a bitch.

The case went through lots of different boring trials, and in March of 2008, the Supreme Court, figuring that it had nothing else to do, decided to hear the case. Throughout the next year there was a lot of talking and deliberating and lots of other boring shit that only old people care about. Finally, in April of 2009 the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in overtime that the FCC did in fact have the right to punish broadcast stations for airing expletives. While the Parents Television Council got ape shit excited that their kids would never have to hear the f-word ever again, other people got pissed off at the result. The Supreme Court decided that it would leave the question of First Amendment rights to the U.S. Court of Appeals, although some Justices argued that a giant middle finger directed at the lower courts would have been more effective. The Court of Appeals has been hearing arguments about the case recently, and the debate goes on as to whether kids should learn cuss words from TV or from their parents.

"This is what Daddy looks at when your bitch of a mother doesn't feel like putting out."

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