When ESPN hired Jon Gruden to appear on Monday Night Football, some of you expressed concern that Gruden’s legendary propensity for dropping “F” bombs could get ESPN into trouble.
Not so, since ESPN is a cable channel not broadcast over the federally-regulated airwaves.
But the rules regarding the seven words that can’t be said on television still apply to ESPN’s sister network ABC. And the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld efforts by the FCC to impose fines on networks that broadcast an expletive blurted out during a live show.
On Friday morning, Green Day appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America. (As many of you know, Florio Jr. is the drummer in a three-man band that has an affinity for Green Day songs, and they’re actually preparing to blow the doors of their elementary school at a talent show next week with a Know Your Enemy/I Fought The Law medley.)
So, as GMA came back from break at the start of the 8:30 a.m. EDT half hour, Green Day was performing Longview, which as anyone familiar with the song knows contains more than a few words on which the FCC might frown.
And so we assumed that the folks at ABC would be ready to take full advantage of the seven-second delay.
As a result, we were treated to seeing youngsters in the crowd sing along to the line “I’m sick of all the same old shit.” Seconds later, Billy Joe Armstrong serenaded us all with the notion that he’s “f–kin’ lazy” and that he “smells like sh-t.”
So while the folks at Disney, the ABC/ESPN parent company, need not worry about potential fines for similar comments from Jon Gruden on ESPN, they might want to have a better understanding of the musical acts that ABC puts on the air.
UPDATE: ABC did a much better job of dumping the “F” words in American Idiot.
SECOND UPDATE: The video is now available. Enjoy it before ABC makes a copyright claim.