Simple Minded Regional Prejudices in a Supreme Court Opinion

Today the Supreme Court released its opinion (pdf) in FCC v. Fox Television Studios. The case concerns the FCC’s change in 2004 to enforce a ban on even single uses of profanity on the air. More background on the case is here. The opinion contains this amazing quote (page 24) provided by Justice Scalia:

We doubt, to begin with, that small-town broadcasters run a heightened risk of liability for indecent utterances. In programming that they originate, their down-home local guests probably employ vulgarity less than big-city folks; and small-town stations generally cannot afford or cannot attract foul-mouthed glitteratae from Hollywood.

This is a basic culture war salvo of the sort you might find from Rush Limbaugh or a random right wing blogger.  And there it is, in a Supreme Court opinion, provided by the Harvard educated judge from New York city, with no citations to outside sources or to facts in the record of the case.

Posted: April 28, 2009 in: