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FCC Opens Path to HellFCC Opens Path to Hell

A new FCC order makes us wonder how we could spice up our sources' comments

October 10, 2003

3 Min Read
FCC Opens Path to Hell

In light of a recent order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau, we here at Light Reading would like to kindly ask our sources – those folks we lean on for information and enlightenment – to please make their quotes more colorful. We have just the tool to help: the F-word!

Yes, last week the FCC explained that the Golden Globe Awards program did not violate federal decency standards during its January 19 broadcast when U2 lead singer Paul "Bono" Hewson uttered the phrase, "This is f***ing great!"

That's right. He said, "This is f***ing great" on national broadcast TV!

Only he didn't use asterisks.

Several complained about the matter and the FCC felt it had to address the elephant in the living room, as it were. In its decision, the FCC, in a rare sane moment, decided not to flip the bird at this mother of all curses."The word 'f***ing' may be crude and offensive, but, in the context presented here, did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities," the FCC's decision states. "Rather, the performer used the word 'f***ing' as an adjective or expletive to emphasize an exclamation."

Only the FCC didn't use asterisks, either.

How does this help you, especially given that you're about as likely to appear onstage at the Golden Globes as I am to bag the Pulitzer Prize for literary criticism?

Well, you can start by thinking of the F-word as a sort of government-approved sweetener for industry presentations, press interviews, and earnings conference calls. In the spirit of the FCC's order, don't just tell us what's going on, give us a little "expletive to emphasize an exclamation." Try these for starters:

  • "Those network computing devices we are selling aren't just routers. They're big, f***ing routers."

    • "Our quarterly numbers aren't just disappointing – they're really f***ing horrible. They're f***ing bumming me the f*** out, man. We're getting f***ed out there! F***ed, I tell you!

    Only, you know, don't use asterisks.

    [Note: Metaphorical f***ing only. "I went to the bordello last night and got f***ed" is impermissible, unless you're complaining about the price.]

    Peppering your speeches and comments with the F-word will, without a doubt, make our fine publication even more of a plug-in-the-Fender, turn-the-amp-up-to-11 kind of reading experience than it already is.

    Trust me on this one. I know what I'm talking about. If the F-word is a 9-iron, I am Tiger F***ing Woods.

    Of course, you're wondering why I'm not using the real F-word in this column, it being officially endorsed by our government and all. To paraphrase Mencken, it's because I'm a bit ashamed to admit that, by the moral code of the land, I have no reason to be ashamed.

    And if I'm ever going to bag a lit-crit trophy, I'd better start paraphrasing Mencken from here to eternity.

    Love that Mencken. Such a profound m***er f***er.

    — Phil F***ing Harvey, Senior Editor, L***t Reading

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