There was (thankfully) no wardrobe malfunction during CBS' broadcast of the Super Bowl, but there was a fleeting expletive.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco dropped the F-bomb. Celebrating the win while embracing teammate Marshal Yanda, Flacco said, "This is f-ing awesome."
CBS failed to catch it. (Technically, the expletive was made during the live broadcast of the game when the network is not on broadcast delay.)
Parents Television Council pounced and is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to take action. "It has happened again," said PTC president Tim Winter, who pointed out the expletive aired before the FCC's 10 p.m. safe harbor time on the West Coast. "The FCC must step up to its legal obligation to enforce the law, or families will continue to be blindsided," Winter added.
CBS declined comment.
Enforcing broadcast indecency hasn't been high on the FCC's list of priorities. More than 1.5 million complaints involving more than 9,700 programs have piled up at the FCC.
The Supreme Court's decision last year that took up fleeting expletives and fleeting nudity didn't do much to resolve the issue. Ruling that the FCC hadn't given stations enough notice that it would begin enforcing sudden bursts of profanity, both the agency and stations were left up in the air as to what is and is not permissible.
The high court also punted on the infamous wardrobe malfunction during CBS' Super Bowl broadcast in 2004. By declining to take the case, it let stand a lower court ruling that CBS would not have to pay the FCC's $550,000 fine.