Earlier this year, MSNBC pundit Lawrence O’Donnell defended a “Modern Family” episode in which a four-year-old learns the F-word and can’t stop saying it — bleeped out, of course. “The real parenting responsibility in America is not to try to hide your
child from the real language, but to prepare your children to hear it,” he said in a segment on his show “The Last Word.”
Now, he’s throwing support behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that ABC and FOX could not be fined by the FCC for a scene with brief female nudity and some F-bombs dropped by celebrities during awards shows.
“Today, the United States Supreme Court officially and unanimously rewrote what we could say and do and show on television. Now, profanity is okay and nudity is okay, all thanks to Cher,” he said on Friday’s show. Then, in celebration, he decided to air the scene from “NYPD Blue” that the FCC called into question — it shows a brief image of a woman’s buttocks.
Here’s the thing, though. The Supreme Court did not actually rule on the constitutionality of the FCC’s ban on curse words and nudity on broadcast. The reason that ABC and FOX were let off the hook was because the FCC had changed their policies shortly before the segments were broadcast, and the networks weren’t given enough notification that they would be fined for the incidents. The FCC is still free to enforce its ban on profanity and indecency.
Sorry, O’Donnell. The FCC will likely rewrite its policies to be more specific.