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Press Release

November 11, 2008

PTC Commends MSNBC for Programming Delay and Scarborough for Apology

PTC Calls on All Networks to Institute Delays for Live Programming


LOS ANGELES (November 11, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ applauded MSNBC’s decision to institute a brief delay for “Morning Joe,” and called on other networks to follow suit with their live shows.  “Morning Joe” Host Joe Scarborough used an unedited “f-word” during the live show on Monday, November 10, although to his credit, he apologized quickly and profusely after realizing he used that expletive.


On Monday, PTC President Tim Winter wrote to NBC President Jeff Zucker to commend Mr. Scarborough’s quick apology and to request that MSNBC institute a tape delay for its live programs.


“We applaud MSNBC for taking the necessary steps to prevent other mishaps like this in the future.  Although this is a cable network that is not subject to the same decency standards as broadcast networks, millions of families are grateful for MSNBC’s decision to try to prevent inappropriate language from airing,” said Mr. Winter.


“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.  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.


“Earlier this year, Jane Fonda used the ‘c-word’ during a Today interview with Meredith Viera.  Although Viera later offered an on-air apology, no apology was forthcoming when, six months later, Tiki Barber used the same word to describe his female colleague, Jenna Wolfe, during live Olympics coverage from Beijing.  NBC still has not apologized to the American people for allowing this word to be broadcast into America’s homes.


“If a several second tape delay is good enough for MSNBC, then NBC should follow suit with the Today show and its other live programming.  In addition, we call on every cable and broadcast network to follow MSNBC’s example.  Inappropriate and offensive language is wholly unnecessary and has no place on these programs.  We are thankful that MSNBC is going to lead by example.”


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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