Comedian Kathy Griffin thought a commercial was running when she unleashed an objectionable word on a nearby heckler during CNN’s New Years telecast, which she was co-hosting with Anderson Cooper. The news network apologized for the incident. Griffin used a word to describe a part of the male anatomy, and while it was not one of those on George Carlin’s famous list, it is one generally frowned upon for broadcast.
RBR/TVBR observation: The fact that CNN apologized is commendable. It didn’t have to. It is a cable network, not a broadcast outlet, and not subject to the same rules; and the incident occurred well within safe harbor boundaries anyway. The fact that it was a remarkable incident even though CNN and any other network, cable, broadcast or otherwise, presumably could go ahead and play the entire Carlin routine any time they want after 10PM is a demonstration of just how clean the airwaves are, despite with some watchdogs like to pretend.