March 07, 2004

This American Prudishness

Sandra Tsing Loh, a frequent contributor to the finest radio show of our generation (This American Life, of course) was fired from her radio commentary job in LA because a radio engineer neglected to bleep the f-word from one of her radio segments.

Firstly, it's an outrageous firing because Sandra Tsing Loh is about as culturally far as you can get from, say, Howard Stern. Secondly...breathes there a person on the planet who has not heard the word "fuck"? And, as was discussed recently on the National Puzzlers' League e-mail list -- why exactly does bleeping an obscenity suddenly make it acceptable? It's not like everyone in the world isn't supplying the word for themselves when they hear that bleep. So you're allowed to make someone think the word "fuck", but you can't say it.

I think I join most of Sandra's listeners when I say "Fuck KCRW."

(Another thought: what exactly are people being protected from when the word "fuck" is censored? The content of the thought is permissible; substitute "have sex with" for "fuck", and it's radio-ready.)

Posted by Francis at 12:01 PM

I'm also shocked and appalled that they have summarily eliminated the entirety of the RealAudio recordings of the years of work she's done with that station.

Posted by: Tablesaw at March 7, 2004 01:03 PM

Oh, and that's another thing that makes the KCRW general manager's comment so outrageous: "It is the equivalent of the Janet Jackson performance piece..."

Janet Jackson did one Super Bowl halftime show and her tit fell out. Sandra Tsing Loh did six years of radio commentary and a "fuck" fell out. Solely on a percentage basis, that's completely different.

Posted by: Francis at March 7, 2004 01:14 PM

Of course STL's "fuck" was authentic and real, so in that regard it is completely different from Janet's boob.

Posted by: ugarte at March 8, 2004 04:01 PM