Why the FCC isn't upset about David Ortiz's Boston Red Sox F-bomb

The Red Sox slugger praised his adoptive city, using some salty language, and the FCC cheered from the sidelines

David Ortiz speaks during a pre-game ceremony on April 20 to commemorate the first game at Fenway Park since the Boston Marathon bombings.
(Image credit: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Legally, it's known as a "fleeting expletive." But it's better known as an F-bomb, or the brief deployment of America's most famous swear word on live TV. The Supreme Court gave the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a slap on the wrist in 2012 for fining Fox for live broadcasts — including U2's Bono declaring an award "fucking brilliant" — but allowed the federal agency to continue policing the public airwaves for nudity and profanity.

On Saturday, the FCC had its chance to test out its new profanity regime, when Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz gave an emotional pre-game speech at Fenway Park to thank Boston police and elected leaders for their tireless work tracking down alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. At the end, Ortiz expressed the thoughts of many in Red Sox Nation, and around the country: "This is our fucking city. And nobody's going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong." Watch the (uncensored) speech:

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.