Monday, May 8, 2017

5.8.17 Bee-otch of the Day: FCC

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on


Name: Federal Communications Commission
Age: 83
Occupation: broadcasting regulators
Last Seen: Washington, DC
Bee-otched For: wasting our time and money again

When there's a Republican in the White House, be careful about what you say and do on TV.  Of course, Janet Jackson learned the hard way.

Now, it's Stephen Colbert's turn.

Last week on The Late Show, its host was talking about Drumpf when he said that the only good thing his mouth was good for was a "cock holster". Almost immediately, a social media backlash was lit against Colbert for his "homophobic" remarks. However, some have pointed out that Drumpf's Veep, Mike Pence was more homophobic than Colbert since he's the one who passed a law while Indiana governor that allowed businesses to ban doing business with the LGBTQ community.

Some even resorted to writing to the FCC, begging them to fine the late night talk host. Now, its chairman, Ajit Pai is telling people that they will put people's complaints into consideration.

When the program aired last week, CBS bleeped the word "cock" and even censored his mouth while he said it. The show even aired past 11:35 p.m. on the east coast, well past the FCC's "safe harbor zone" where broadcasters are not allowed to air programming that might not be suitable for young children, which is 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Some could wonder if CBS and Stephen Colbert get fined, this would mean that even outside the safe harbor zone, no broadcaster is safe from the nasty-wasty 'ol FCC.

Of course, late night TV and censorship do come a long way. Back in 1960, Jack Paar, who was then host of NBC's The Tonight Show walked off the program for several weeks because the network censored a joke they found to be "in bad taste". It was a story about an English woman who was looking to stay in a room in Switzerland, but noticed that there were hardly any bathrooms, aka the "W. C." or water closet. So, she wrote the schoolmaster, whose English skills were bad and thought that "W. C." stood for "wayside chapel". So he wrote the woman that the W. C. was nine miles from the house and only open Sundays and Thursdays. When in use, she would be sitting with 229 other people and even more in the Summer months. He also recommended coming on Thursdays since there's musical accompaniment and that his daughter was married in the W. C. as well.

Since Colbert's cock holster joke was told last week, many have supported TV's second-highest-rated late night star. The Writers Guild of America says that Colbert's remarks are proof that Drumpf's administration will do anything to quash the First Amendment. Poking fun of leadership is timeless and that the real obscenity here is our government telling a late night comedian what he can or can't say.

The truth is, the people against Colbert are angry simply because pretty much all the late night talkers are joking about Drumpf, a man whose bullshit writes their own jokes. If they love their president so much, maybe they can convince Fox to create their own late night talk show with a host who thinks that Drumpf is God.

But let's remember this: the FCC gets complaints all the time for many TV and radio shows. Some get fined, but most don't. Hell, even a few folks have complained about The Simpsons but that show has never gotten a Notice of Apparent Liability. Remember the infamous episode of Oprah where she discusses "rainbow parties" and it turned out that they didn't exist? She was never fined since, well, she's Oprah. Yet, Howard Stern was fined for talking about blumpkins.

The sad thing is that if Colbert gets fined by the FCC, this could mean many things, including the fact that broadcasters need to watch out for indecency, even after the safe harbor zone ends. But it might even mean that some CBS affiliates could pull The Late Show from its lineup. Hell, I remember some affiliates didn't air their infamous "Crime Time After Prime Time" lineup in the early 90s.

The point is, I think the real winners here are the viewers. If Colbert's ratings keep up, then yes, CBS should keep him. If not, OK, it's time for something new at 11:35. Just as long as it ain't Jay Leno.

In the end, we'll see how stupid the FCC really is.


Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!

Bee-otch of the Day Archives can be seen on

Bee-otch of the Day is a production of, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!

No comments:

Post a Comment