Radio Ink reports that Diane Keaton's dropping of the f-bomb on Good Morning America last week may stoke the FCC fires on so-called fleeting expletives. Members of the activist group the American Family Association have reportedly lodged thousands of complaints to Keaton's slip-of-tongue.
A previous FCC attempt at regulating the occasional heat-of-the-moment cursing was overturned by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. However, according to Radio Ink, bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate that would "specifically allow the FCC to set a policy that single words or images can put a broadcaster in violation of the indecency rules."
Apparently the impetus for the expletive was lip envy: "Keaton said that if she had lips like GMA host Diane Sawyer's, Keaton wouldn't have had to work on her 'fucking personality.'"
One might hope that the profanity causing such a dust-up would be worthy of the reaction. Unfortunately, Keaton's utterance is no more exciting or taboo than the Super Bowl Boobygate. If ultra-conservatives want to express outrage over nudity, why not wait until an actual boob is exposed and remains visible for more than 1/20th of a second? And if they're britches are going to get bound up by a naughty word, why waste their energy on such a casual utterance? (Wouldn't it me more effective to go after full frontal in a sex scene where the female participant repeatedly instructs the male participant as to how hard he should do what he is doing? At least that would be a twofer.)
To seek to control fleeting expletives - or really any modest amount of "bad" words - is puritanical on a level way out of proportion with the rest of American culture.