The Parents Television Council says that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough did a rare thing – he apologized profusely for an on-air indiscretion that sent an f-bomb in to the homes of viewers of his morning cable TV show. And then his company instituted a seven-second delay for the show. The decency watchdog called for all who run live programming to do the same.
“Scarborough’s outburst apparently caught him by surprise as much as it did viewers and his co-hosts, as he offered a profuse and sincere apology as soon as he realized what he had done,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “He set a great example by immediately taking responsibility for his actions, and we applaud him for that. His example is rare. And that is what is so concerning: His example is so rare.”
RBR/TVBR observation: Scarborough’s example is rare since it is indeed extremely unusual for such language to go out over air or over basic cable period. Most broadcasters will go through their entire career without having occasion to apologize for any such thing.
Furthermore, we defy anybody to prove harm – Scarborough’s momentary lapse will leave no lasting scars on anybody – child, adult, senior citizen, family pet, what have you. However, overreacting to these rare slip-ups can cause damage to core American values such as freedom of speech and the ability to offer live coverage and discussion of events of national importance.