Dangerously Expanded

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I know Democratic FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein has already said that he thought the FCC had overstepped in its recent indecency rulings, particularly the f-word and s-word parts.

I know as a blues musician himself, Adelstein was particularly perturbed by the decision– from which he dissented–that a PBS documentary featuring–merciful heavens!–musicians swearing in a documentary about musicians was indecent. Why, swearing is as natural aand in context for rappers as it is for, say, athletes, or corporate titans or kids on the playground or journalists or, well, you get the point.

Not to include it would be like replacing all of Jackie Gleason's wonderful curses in the Smokey and the Bandit movies with badly dubbed substitutes like "pudding head" and "crum bum."

I know that Adelstein, whose father is a venerated Republican legislator, is a moderate who has long professed a preference for free markets absent failures of those markets, though his definition of market failure is not the same as most free-market Republicans.

With all that caveat out of the way, I still think it is worth framing the following from a speech he gave in Aspen to the free marketers at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, even if he was preaching to the choir:

"I believe that the Commission’s last batch of decisions dangerously expands the scope of indecency and profanity law without first attempting to determine whether we are applying the appropriate contemporary community standards."

So do I, though I would drop everything after "law" and leave it at that.

By John Eggerton

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