SCOTUSblog reports that the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 today in a ruling that favors upholding the Bush Administration ban of “fleeting expletives” on all radio and television stations between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Strangely, the case that brought censorship and First Amendment rights back to the national stage actually trickled down from a 2003 broadcast in which U2’s Bono beat the censors on the Golden Globes and uttered an unbleeped expletive.
So news that it’s still illegal for Bono to curse in front of millions of Americans isn’t a big deal, but check out this excerpt from Justice Scalia’s official opinion on whether the ban causes unfair financial risk to local media outlets:
We doubt, to begin with, that small-town broadcasters run a heightened risk of liability for indecent utterances. In programming that they originate, their down-home local guests probably employ vulgarity less than big-city folks; and small-town stations generally cannot afford or cannot attract foul-mouthed glitteratae [sic] from Hollywood.
Wouldn’t Bono be a member of the “foul-mouthed glitteratae” from Dublin?