If you think there’s a lot more bleeping going on in television lately, it’s not your imagination, reports the Los Angeles Times‘ Melissa Maerz. The F-word was bleeped or muted 276 times during 2010, compared with just 11 times in 2005–prompting the question of what’s causing it.
The reason may lie with last year’s decision by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to limit "fleeting expletives" to late-night TV, the story says. As a result, the FCC has been crimped in its ability to punish what it considers indecent language, while TV networks are taking advantage of that and playing up the use of profanity on the airwaves, the piece reports.
The S-word, for example, was bleeped or muted 95 times in 2010 across all networks and prime-time hours, compared with 11 times in 2005, the piece notes. Some shows are using bleeping for comedic effect, while others use it to capture the way people really speak, the story says.
One scene in NBC’s "Up All Night" captures that feeling when two first-time parents admire their baby. "So [bleep]-ing cute," says the mother. "[Bleep]!" agrees the father, according to the article.
It’s not just TV, though: Profanity is also on the rise in mainstream music, such as Cee Lo’s "(Bleep) You," and is even creeping into children’s books, such as "Go the (Bleep) to Sleep," the piece points out.