Imagine a world where it would be O.K. to use particularly foul language in an e-mail sent from your smartphone, but where you would be fined if you uttered the same words during a phone call."
That's how Edward Wyatt explains the current state of FCC rules where pretty much anything goes, language and nudity-wise, on cable TV shows, and broadcasters still have to watch their words (and wardrobe malfunctions).
The recent Supreme Court ruling which threw out fines FCC had placed on broadcast shows from 2002 and 2003 (a lifetime ago when it comes to media) did nothing to clarify or ease matters, since the Court let stand "the FCC policy that fleeting expletives, which previously had been judged to be allowable, were now forbidden," writes Wyatt. And "part of the uncertainty over what happens next stems from the fact that court cases outlast political appointees."