[lbo-talk] legal reasoning

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Fri Dec 4 12:29:51 PST 2009

In checking whether I can use the phrase "pissed off" on the radio without getting in trouble with the FCC, I found this gem:


Even accepting Mr. Palko's description of the broadcasts, we conclude that WLDI did not broadcast indecent material in violation of the Commission's Rules. We first find that the hosts' use of the word ``piss'' in conjunction with the phrases ``pissed at'' and ``pissed off'' is clearly not indecent. Both phrases are commonly used slang terms indicating or describing a sense of anger. Moreover, in the context of these broadcasts, it appears that the hosts used these phrases as a way of expressing their anger at the NHL. Contrary to the allegations in the complaint, the hosts did not use the phrases to describe or depict an excretory act. Additionally, the use of the phrases did not appear to pander or titillate, and did not appear to be presented for shock value. Thus, we decline to find that Entercom's broadcast of the phrases ``pissed at'' and ``pissed off'' violated the Commission's rules.

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