Friday, July 14, 2006

FCC-you! Bush appointees comb sports event crowd noises for obscene or profane utterances – a new horsefeathers witch hunt.

You can’t make this stuff up. In a never-ending effort to protect your delicate ears from uncouth expletives, the FCC has “requested” from networks (read that as “hand it over or else,”) the tapes of live sporting events broadcasts.

FCC commissioners are particularly interested, according to a story on the Reuters newswire (URL below) in football games and NASCAR races where someone in the crowd (or a participant in the game) lets loose with an expletive. If it’s broadcast live, even if by accident, the FCC can fine the network $325,000 per expletive.

Ever been to a sports event? One game broadcast under those rules could repay the entire national debt.

Since we all know you can’t go to a ball game or a NASCAR race without hearing some pretty strong language in tense moments, there has to be an ulterior motive. So what’s going on here?

The plan I perceive, in case you don't immediately see through the fog of pseudo-piety that pretends to be protecting your delicate ears, is to have an axe to hold over networks reporting news that the administration doesn’t like.

In other words, “Report bad news about, say, Iraq or the economy, and we’ll go through your broadcasts, listening very carefully for someone in the crowd or an angry coach saying, “shit” and then we’ll bankrupt you.”

The only solution would seem to be broadcasting sporting events with the sound off from now on. But I have another idea.

Let’s round up every coach, every referee, every NASCAR driver, every player and most of all every fan and send them to an FCC “re-education camp” down at Guantanamo. There they will be brainwashed to shed their uncouth language in favor of the kind of frou-frou euphemisms that characterized Victorian-era speech.

I’m talking about about the days when people avoided obscene thoughts by putting skirts around table legs and calling them “limbs.”

For example, a baseball coach and umpire might be forced to sit in painful positions for hours and to sleep in puddles of icy waters until they memorize this conversation:

COACH: Golly-geewillikers sir, I wish to protest your having called my runner “out” on first.

UMPIRE: Return to your dugout, you scalawag. I make the gol-dang decisions here.

COACH: But heck sir, the first basement did not come within a country mile of tagging my player.

UMPIRE: That is a load of pure, unmitigated horsefeathers! I plainly saw his glove touch your runner’s limb.

COACH: Oh, go insert your horsefeathers in your gosh-darn pipe and smoke it.

Of course, even with the ban on expletives, there’s still a word you can use on TV that describes the FCC commissioners and their obedient senior staff perfectly.


You'll find the full details here:

1 comment:

Buce said...

Quakers at Haverford used to chant:

Harass them, harass them, make them relinquish the ball.

[Oh, and Tom Lehrer sang: Fight Fiercely Harvard, in the same genre.]