Here’s something you can do in your spare time. Get your local TV or radio station in trouble and possibly cost it $325,000 or more.

All you have to do is get one of the “seven deadly words” on the air.

The Federal Communications commission has now declared that the occasional fleeting expletive, like Bono saying the “f word” when he got the Golden Globe award is grounds for a fine. And the fine is $325,000 for each occasion. It doesn’t matter if the swear is said by an actor, an anchor or a bystander on the street near a remote broadcast. If it gets on the air then the station can be fined.

Here’s some inside information from a former radio guy. All stations are supposed to be on a delay when there is chance of someone swearing. That’s why on a talk radio show you will occasionally hear awkward silences or abrupt ends to phone calls. The technician running the show has “dumped” the swearword. But the fact is once the techie has dumped a call then the delay takes some time to reset. So if you ever hear that happen, call right away and swear your head off. They will be able to cut you off but not before you get some colorful language out. I suggest shouting “F… communism.” Who can argue with that?

The truth of the matter is many stations don’t bother with a delay. Show them the error of their ways!

Another prime time to cost your local TV or Radio station some big bucks is to pester them at live broadcasts. If you see a bored looking DJ at a car dealership doing a “Live action Broadcast” chances are the event is not on delay. Wait till he or she starts to speak then let the f-bombs rip. Same deal with a live shot from a TV station. Be one of those jerks who jump up and down in view of the camera trying to get on the TV. Then when the red light goes on cut loose. Bring a megaphone to help get your point across.

Of course you will quite possibly get arrested or maybe a punch or two in the face. But then you could have the fun and excitement of a free speech trial.

By the way make sure to have a tape recorder running or your TIVO set. You will need to send a record of the event to the folks at the F.C.C. Anonymous is fine. They just need to have an actual record to act.

Obviously I am NOT advocating any of the above. I am just trying to make a point. If swear words get on the air, I can agree that’s a bad thing. And radio stations and TV stations do work hard to make sure it doesn’t happen. But sometimes it does. It’s almost always by accident. And most people won’t notice if the news reporter drops something and says “Shit!” And if you are going to make a federal case out of something like that then I suggest a course of therapy and a strong psychoactive drug might help.

Maybe the F.C.C. can pay for it when they start collecting those fines.

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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