The Federal Communications Commission was founded in 1934 with the express purpose of making sure that people could reasonably listen to the radio. Soon thereafter, the agency decided that it could also police the airways for naughty language, which many American seem to feel is physically harmful to them.
As pointed out comically by the late great George Carlin, the FCC had at one point ruled that there were seven words that you were not allowed to say on the air. The agency has also ruled that you cannot reveal a lady’s nipple during the Super Bowl, although a court later reversed that finding. They have also ruled that you cannot refer on the radio to a man playing a piano with his penis, and that nor can you use the phrase “big black lesbian filled with lust” (see Stern, Howard). Bafflingly, the FCC has said that it’s okay to say “fucking” on the air in some instances, so long as you say something like “That’s fucking great” and so long as you don’t say “Hey, Bob and Rita are over in the corner fucking.” Although, if I were a broadcaster, I probably wouldn’t try it.
So the FCC is a fickle bitch when it comes to naughty words (“I don’t mind ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ but P AND C ARE OUT! P AND C ARE OUT!”). They can’t get off their asses and keep the Internet in the commons, but boy, if you say naughty words on the radio or on the TV, they’ll come out with all guns blazing!
But there is one word that is so egregious, so explosive, so utterly awful, that even the FCC doesn’t have to enforce it. And that word was recently uttered 11 times by “Doctor” Laura Kightlinger…I’m sorry, I mean Schlessinger (I bet that happens to Laura Kightlinger all the damned time)…on the radio. This is a word that starts with an “n” and that purports to refer to a certain segment of the American population due to the hue of their epidermis. Epidermii. Whatever.
No, the FCC doesn’t have to do anything about a broadcaster that uses a racial epithet. That person will either have to call it quits or he will have to publicly beg and plead with the Rev. Al Sharpton and will have to hire a minimum of two black people as sidekicks (see Imus, Don). And there is a REASON for this.
You see, “Doctor” Laura, once upon a time in American history, when a person was using the word that you so boldly pronounced ELEVEN TIMES on your air, that person was often MULTI-TASKING. For instance, the person would be saying that word while, oh, I dunno, while he was tying a noose around a person’s neck. Or, while he was saying that word, he might have been beating a person’s skull in with a billy club. Or whipping a guy’s back until it looks like ground chuck. Or chasing a guy with a pack of hounds.
This is why our marketplace of ideas abhors the word. We are a culture that believes that words are powerful, so powerful that we’ve asked our government to protect us from some of the finest among them. So don’t get all shocked when your utterance of the most brutal, most violent word in our culture causes an avalanche on your bony ass.
So when “Doctor” Laura whines that her First Amendment rights have somehow been violated, she takes whatever credibility she might have had, which was rather little—considering that her “Doctor” title comes from a master’s in physiology—and she poops it out and flushes it down the toidey. Her First Amendment rights were not violated in any way. In fact what really happened is that the marketplace—which as you recall is an abstract concept that conservatives enjoy performing oral sex upon—drove her to the edge of town with a bucket and a pistol before Uncle Sam even had the opportunity.
All of this, and, believe it or not, uttering that word is not even the most racist thing the good “doctor” said! No, she intimated that, since we have a black Preznit now, all this racist stuff should just go away! And she told her caller not to “NAACP” her?
What. A pig. Good riddance.