Hey, “Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” help me out with something: When is it OK to cuss on TV?
I’ve been on the radio a couple times recently as part of my work for my bigfoot client, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a television appearance — even if only on public access — is in the offing. So how should I handle things when I feel the need to let a four-letter word fly? (And, believe me, that’s a need I feel with some frequency.)
This morning I was watching your show’s Sept. 19 broadcast on my Xfinity DVR (If you watch TV on anything but Comcast, yer goin’ to hell!) and noticed that your first segment was called “Chaos on Bullshit Mountain.” At least that’s what you said, but the graphic read, “Chaos on Bulls#%t Mountain.” I guess you can say shit, but can only write s#%t.
OK, I think I’m with you so far. But then you crossed me up with a curveball.
In lampooning the typical Fox News dissembling, you say, “I’d expect this from residents of Asshole Cove, but not Bullshit Mountain.” Fine, I get it. “Asshole” is kosher on cable TV. Hell, even the networks were OK with it years ago on “NYPD Blue.” Yet, the night before, in your interview with author Salman Rushdie, “asshole” was bleeped out at least twice, which kind of belies the opinions/assholes chestnut. In your chat with “The Satanic Verses” scribe, opinions were plentiful, “assholes” were scarce.
However, I might have taped the Sept. 18 show (the one with Rushdie) during its 11 p.m. airing (Sorry, but your broadcast conflicts with my mandatory live viewing of “TMZ.”) and I definitely recorded the 12:30 a.m. airing of the Sept. 19 show, which featured the pop/soul singer Pink (or “P!nk). That wee-hours wrinkle might explain things a little.
That might, were it not for the aforementioned pop/soul singer’s performance of her new single “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).” During the first verse, she dropped the “S-bomb” (unbleeped) about a half-dozen times. But in the second verse, that shit was bleeped throughout.
I figured, for sure, Comedy Central allows only so many shits per episode, even during post-midnight airings, and the magic number had been realized.
Nope. As the song wound up, Pink’s “shit” apparently didn’t stink (it went unbleeped), but her background singers’ “shits” in response were censored. And after the commercial break, you, Pink and her guitarist chatted a bit and proceeded to “shit” all over the stage anew.
I’m not offended by the language, per se, but I’m a bit perturbed, or at least perplexed, by the lack of consistency governing vulgarity on the air.
Mostly, though, I don’t really give a shit. Or a s#!t.