Eight Dirty Words (Count 'em)


The Contra Costa Times reports on the effort by Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.) to increase the FCC's infamous seven dirty words to eight (by doubling up on versions of "asshole").

No grammatical novice, Ose wants to ban noun forms as well as "verb, adjective, gerund, participle, and infinitive forms" of the words too terrible to speak. Ose is pissed–excuse me, peeved–that U2 frontman Bono got away with saying "fucking" during the Golden Globes Award broadcast a while back.

Noted First Amendment lawyer Robert Corn-Revere is quoted in story saying, "There's no conceivable way that an approach like that could survive constitutional review….This is one of the reasons why radios and televisions have on-off switches."

Ose's bill, H.R. 3687, is filled with the dirty language he wants to ban from the airwaves. You can search for it here. Here's the text in full:

To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, is amended–

(1) by inserting `(a)' before `Whoever'; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

`(b) As used in this section, the term `profane', used with respect to language, includes the words `shit', `piss', `fuck', `cunt', `asshole', and the phrases `cock sucker', `mother fucker', and `ass hole', compound use (including hyphenated compounds) of such words and phrases with each other or with other words or phrases, and other grammatical forms of such words and phrases (including verb, adjective, gerund, participle, and infinitive forms).'.

Question for all you amateur lawyers out there: Would it be illegal to go on TV and call Ose a fucking asshole who's wasting everyone's time with shit like this?