Bono Gets Free Pass On Televised 'F'-Word

The Federal Communications Commission decided that U2 singer Bono's utterance of an obscenity during this year's broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards did not constitute a violation of the nation's bro

The Federal Communications Commission decided that U2 singer Bono's utterance of an obscenity during this year's broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards did not constitute a violation of the nation's broadcast indecency rules.

The government agency's Enforcement Bureau yesterday (Oct. 6) rejected complaints by the Parents Television Council and others that Bono's use of the phrase "this is really, really f***ing brilliant" failed to meet the test for indecency. The bureau ruled that Bono's indiscretion was so "fleeting and isolated" that it did not run afoul of the rules.

The commission defines indecent speech as language that, in context, depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities or organs in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards. As a threshold matter, the material aired during NBC's Golden Globes telecast doesn't fall into that category, the bureau ruled.

"The word 'f***ing' my be crude and offensive, but, in the context presented here, did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities," the bureau wrote. "Rather, the performer used the word 'f***ing' as an adjective or expletive to emphasize an exclamation. Indeed, in similar circumstances, we have found that offensive language used as an insult rather than as a description of sexual or excretory activities or organs is not within the scope of the commission's prohibition of indecent program content."

In other news, Bono will speak tomorrow at the United Nations Association of the United States of America/Business Council for the United Nations' annual dinner in New York. The artist will discuss his ongoing work against the global spread of the AIDS virus.