NBC apologizes, PTC attacks


NBC Television Network called Jane Fonda’s inadvertent on-air use of one of the George Carlin heavy seven words a "slip." Parents Television Council said that the network "assaults families with offensive language." PTC has initiated a complaint filing action directed to the FCC.

They were discussing award-winning play "The Vagina Monologues" on the "Today Show" when the slip occurred. The play’s author — Eve Ensler — was there with host Meredith Vieira and Jane Fonda. It was the latter who let the c-word fly while discussing another related monologue.

"While NBC’s apology is helpful, it is not enough — millions of families were indeed offended, said PTC’s Tim Winter. "NBC must change its broadcasting practices and implement a time-delay on all of its live broadcasts, thereby ensuring that this type of language does not air on the publicly-owned airwaves." He added, "The networks can no longer claim to be surprised by this now-routine conduct. It is now something they must anticipate happening. Just a few weeks ago, ABC’s Good Morning America allowed the ‘f-word’ to slip by un-bleeped. How many times does this have to happen before expletives are no longer ‘fleeting?’" PTC put the word out to its members to make their protest known to the FCC.

Meanwhile, on the radio side, Toledo OH mayor Carty Finkbeiner is also in the news for a fleeting assault on decency. Participating in "The Frank Beckmann Show" on Citadel’s WJR-AM Detroit, on the fly he was undecided about using the word fuss or ruckus to describe a certain situation, and wound up uttering a combination of the two that was in effect an unbleeped f-bomb.

TVBR/RBR observation: Do you know what gets us hot? It’s when our elected officials use the prettiest language they can conjure up to tell extended and repeated outright lies to us, fully intending to pander. Why can’t that be actionable? Note that "repeated" and "pander" are two of the legs necessary for the FCC to issue a sustainable indecency fine. They simply need to replace “titillate” with “lie.”

Instead, we have to listen to PTC and a few other groups go ballistic because a dirty word slipped through. They call this type of slip "routine." To quote one of the fine members of the communications attorney community, horse puckey. There happen to have been a couple fleeting instances of fleeting indecency during the first month and a half of 2008. That stacks up against the countless millions of words NOT on the Carlin list that have been spoken.

When dealing with matters of public importance, we would much rather have access to the unvarnished, unedited truth in the way that only the electronic media can pass through to us, without forcing the electronic media to attach a language nanny with a time suspension device to every single camera and mic that is ever put into operation.

Oh, and once again, all of the many children who derive at least part of their food, shelter and clothing from the activities here at RBR seem to have weathered yet another fleeting assault on the family with absolutely no ill effects. If this is all about protecting our children, forget it, PTC. No harm, no foul.