TV In The Toilet -- Literally

The Federal Communications Commission defined broadcast indecency in 1987 as "language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities."Brent Bozell’s culture column this week reports that ABC’s "According to Jim" had an entire plot revolve around the gag (and "gag" is probably the right word) that the Jim Belushi character ate his wedding ring and his wife waited to catch him in the act of pooping it out. It apparently lands with a "clank." His wife and her siblings then pop out of the shower with an a-ha. Brent writes: "This is certainly a plot based on (implied) excretory activities, but it’s certainly not what the regulators had in mind. I suspect that when these rules were written there wasn’t a soul at the FCC who believed ‘humor’ would ever come to this."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis