I Don’t Want to See Anyone’s Body Parts on TV

But this is funny…

With the FCC now empowered to fine broadcasters ten times more than before for even a slip of a nipple or a swear word, were doing a little sin trading today. The government has determined that the damage to society of a swear broadcast on TV is up to $325,000. So what else does the law think is also worth charging that kind of coin for? Did you know that its cheaper to kill someone? Tempted? The gory details, after the still-free jump…


We try, here at Lost Remote, to bring something back to the news were criticized for lacking these days: context. Today in Context, we look at the new power granted to the FCC to fine broadcasters $325,000 per curse word or obscene event. Of course, its up to the FCC to determine whats obscene, and its up to a few nuts with email copy and paste power to complain to the FCC about an alleged obscenity they’ve never seen for a fine to occur. But never mind that.

Instead, lets take a tip from the pollution credits laws and invent a sin credits law. You can trade your $325,000 fine for saying “[email protected]#$” on television for:

  1. Killing someone by accident. It’s true. Go ahead. Of course, you’ll have to do this accidentally, otherwise its not a misdemeanor accident. Still – a death that results from you being stupid? A $250,000 federal fine. So kill someone, and you still net out $75,000. And we can afford a lot more, provided we’re willing to do a little jail time, so we…
  2. Commit Second Degree Murder in Florida. OK, not a nice thought, but we are trying to put that $325,000 into context and it turns out you can commit 32 1/2 acts of second degree murder in Florida for the same penalty as broadcasting Janet’s boobs. The felony carries a $10,000 fine. (Don’t do this, even if you can afford it: it also brings up to 30 years in jail. Think of all the sex you’ll miss on TV.) $30,000 and counting. Lets continue the crime spree and knock it up to….
  3. Kidnap a child in California: A $10,000 fine. Still, its not as bad as the FCC catching us saying [email protected]#$ on COPS as we get pulled over. (Interestingly, you can only get four years in jail for this, too. Take my kid and its only four years in prison? Another article should come out of that.) Sin banks down to $20,000, and we need to…
  4. Do drugs in Iowa. Were going to spend $10,000 of our sin credit to party in Des Moines. Thats the fine for possession under Iowa Code section 204.401(1) and Im going to avoid any comment on places in Iowa youd need to be on drugs to enjoy. Finally, were so stoned, we decide to blow the rest of our sin money and…
  5. Violate someones civil rights: $10,000 and we may not even serve jail time on this one. We can go right ahead and obstruct a woman trying to get help at a reproductive health clinic. It says so in the Civil Rights Statutes.

So, in summary: For $325,000 we can swear once on television. Or, we can

  1. Accidentally kill a guy anywhere in the country and
  2. Kill another guy, sort of on purpose, in Florida and
  3. Kidnap someones baby in California and
  4. Get stoned in Iowa City and
  5. Keep a 16-year-old girl from getting The Pill at a clinic.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking: That sounds like a lot of fun, Steve, but what about the whole ‘prison terms’ thing? Well, you’re on your own there. But if you find 10 broadcaster friends who havent said [email protected]#$during prime-time, thats $3.25 million you can use for a really good legal team to help cut down on the time behind bars.

Citations, but don’t hold me to this stuff, since this is largely satirical and real research isn’t my thing :

  1. Federal Fines and Sentencing Laws, Title 18 – Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Part II Criminal Procedure, Chapter 227 Sentences, Subchapter C Fines, 3571 (b) fines for individuals.
  2. Florida Statutes, Title XLVI Crimes, Chapters 782.04 Murder and 775.083 Fines
  3. California Penal Code Section 278
  4. Iowa Code section 204.401(1)
  5. Title 18, U.S.C., Section 248, Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act

Source: Context: What other crimes you can commit for a $325,000 fine