CBS challenges FCC ruling about Twila saying “bullshitter” on The Early Show

Last month’s shocking and appalling decision by the FCC to fine broadcasters over content is being challenged in court by the networks. The four major “networks filed lawsuits in federal appeals courts in Washington and New York to challenge indecency rulings against CBS, ABC and Fox involving coarse language,” The New York Times reports.

One of those is another reality TV-related incident, one that escaped my notice last month because it occurred on The Early Show, and because it resulted in no fine for CBS. On the December 13, 2004, episode of The Early Show on CBS, Survivor Vanuatu contestant Twila Tanner said another cast member was a “bullshitter.”

That sent the FCC into convulsions, as they said her language was “shocking and gratuitous” and comparable to “fuck” as “one of the most offensive words in the English language,” according to the FCC’s report. In addition, the FCC called it “one of the most vulgar, graphic and explicit words describing excrement or excretory activity in the English language.” Apparently, no one there actually poops because their asses are so tight.

However, the FCC did not fine CBS, saying that its “precedent at the time of the broadcast did not clearly indicate that the Commission would take enforcement action against an isolated use of the ‘S-Word.'” Still, CBS and the other networks said in a statement that the FCC “acted arbitrary and failed to provide broadcasters with a clear and consistent standard for determining what content the government intends to penalize.”

Showdown Over Indecency? [CBS News]
TV Networks Sue to Challenge F.C.C.’s Indecency Penalties [New York Times]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.