Sunday, October 15, 2006

Speaking of GOP Senators Saying Stupid Shit...

So it seems that a few months ago, Montana Senator Conrad Burns (potential puns abound) got mad at a team of Virginia firefighters that he saw at the Billings airport while they were waiting to return home after fighting some Montana wildfires. Apparently, he cussed out the $8-$12-per-hour smoke breathers because the authorities who gave them their instructions didn't instruct them in the manner that Senator Burns would have preferred.

Mr. Burns is the incumbent, and is up for re-election next month. As you can imagine, his opponent wants to make sure that everyone in Montana knows about his lack of tact. But what about a political commercial (i.e., political speech) that involves profanity? This is a great example of why the fucking FCC is so anti-American and anti-free speech. Excerpt from the Helena Independent Record: A television commercial slamming Sen. Conrad Burns for cursing at a firefighting crew could be too vulgar for broadcast television, the Montana Broadcasters Association is warning its members. Citing the Federal Communications Commission’s ‘‘current stance on indecent language,’’ association President Greg MacDonald advised stations Wednesday to pull the spot or check with attorneys before airing it. ‘‘While we have no idea how the commission might come down on such language in a political spot, we also don’t want to test the waters at $325,000 per violation,’’ MacDonald wrote. The commercial, paid for by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, opens with a cautionary note: ‘‘The following contains language by Conrad Burns unsuitable for Montana.’’ The narrator begins by praising firefighters as heroes, then switches to quotes from reports of a confrontation Burns had with firefighters in July while waiting for a flight at the Billings airport. ‘‘But Conrad Burns said they had done, quote, ‘a piss poor job,’ and while pointing at one, ‘he hasn’t done a Goddamned thing,’ ’’ the announcer says. The quotes are based on a report filed by a state official who was sent to the airport to talk with Burns after he confronted the Virginia firefighting team.

What a bunch of bullshit! And all this over some Howard Stern jokes and one (not even both!) of Janet Jackson's boobs! Looks like the First Amendment gets trumped by obscenity fears... At least the children of Montana will be safe.

BTW, here's the commercial in question (I think):

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