The Boston Red Sox played their first game at Fenway Park Saturday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals after deadly bombings ripped through the Boston Marathon’s finish line Monday, killing three people and injured more than one hundred. Before the game, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz thanked the mayor, governor, and police department for their leadership and said “This is our fucking city!” And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”
Later, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski tweeted, “David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston – Julius”.
While the tweet indicated Ortiz and Fox Sports Kansas City, MLB Network, and NESN (cable home of the Red Sox and Bruins) weren’t going to be in hot water with government brass, a non-story has all of sudden turned into a political firestorm.
As you recall, the FCC has been embroiled with indecency issues since the Super Bowl halftime fiasco of nearly ten years ago. Since then, the broadcast networks have struggled with “fleeting expletives”, with the Parents Television Council front and center, filing complaints with the agency.
Indecency has taken a back seat since Genachowski took over as FCC Chairman from Kevin Martin in 2008, focusing instead on broadband and spectrum issues.
The story received major press – not only from sports websites, but also from many tabloid Hollywood and political websites. Many of the comments left on these articles were vile, racist, and stupid, which proves once again comment sections and message boards is where you’ll find the most dumbest people alive.
Some of the comments asked why the FCC wasn’t going to fine the cable networks. Others said Ortiz offended children in the audience and at the game, and others said he should’ve been a better role model (some internet trolls were even trying to put him in the same league as the terrorist bomber, who was captured on Friday!)
Let’s take a step back for a minute. First of all, the FCC has no jurisdiction over cable TV, basic or premium – just broadcast. The three cable networks carrying the speech weren’t going to fined anyway – something the tabloid Hollywood press or political websites didn’t even bother to point this out. The radio broadcasts for both teams had the expletive deleted on a seven second delayed broadcast.
Second, this outrage over “children hearing the f-bomb” – give me a break! Where was the outrage from these types when fifteen-year old Hadiya Pendleton was gunned down in January here in Chicago? Children are getting gunned down in urban cities all over the U.S., and these idiots are concerned about kids hearing a four-letter word? Grrr…. In fact, one of those killed in the Boston bombing was an eight year-old. And these Internet trolls think f-bombs do more harm to children than the real ones.
The only people who are offended are the Drudge-baiting trolls who hang out on the Internet all day waiting to complain about something. Sadly, the tabloid Hollywood press needs the page hits from the trolls because anyone with half a brain knows better to avoid anything written by Nikki Finke. Instead of media industry issues, perhaps they should stick covering the latest Justin Bieber tantrum or what the Kardashian clan is wearing to lunch.
And as for Ortiz being a bad role model… are we still in the 1990’s? Who would you rather have as a role model? A Chicago politician? Mancow? WIND-AM host Joe Walsh? Randy Michaels? Yeah, there’s some real role models right there.
As for Genachowski – who is exiting as FCC Chairman in a few weeks – he never should have tweeted his blessing to begin with, knowing the firestorm it would create – especially from some on the right side of the political spectrum. Genachowski hasn’t done anything of note in the five years he’s been there – why start now? (except trying to scam broadcasters out of their spectrum.) One damn thing he sure didn’t do was address media consolidation, which continues unabated – let alone the indecency mess.
The bottom line is – no one – not a single one in the 37,000+ plus crowd at Fenway Park Saturday afternoon had a problem with what David Ortiz said… this is a man who showed emotion about the city he plays in, a place he calls home. After a week Boston had, we should be praising Ortiz for showing passion for his city – not burying him for saying a swear word.