Skip to comments.ABC bleeps 'Jesus' out of broadcast
Posted on 06/11/2002 2:14:05 PM PDT by vannrox
The bleeped Jesus on "The View" has drawn the ire of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, some conservative media watchdogs and even the women whose on-air conversation was altered.
"It is political correctness run amok," said Elizabeth Swasey, spokeswoman for the Media Research Center.
On the May 23 edition of "The View," Meredith Vieira noted that the daily weigh-ins of her dieting co-host, Joy Behar, had ended.
"Yes, and thank you, thank you, Jesus, is all I have to say," Behar replied.
Her words were aired live in much of the country, but when ABC broadcast a taped version of the show on the West Coast, "Jesus" was edited out.
ABC spokeswoman Julie Hoover said the use ran afoul of a pretty clear standard. The network has no problem with Jesus Christ's name if it is used in a "prayerful and respectful manner," she said. (ABC's Peter Jennings anchored a highly rated news special, "The Search For Jesus," in July 2000.)
But ABC does not allow Jesus' name to be used in an exclamation.
"Under the circumstances, we were concerned it would be offensive to our audience," Hoover said.
The incident comes at a time broadcasters in general are pushing the boundaries of language and content. Expletives rarely allowed on the networks were used this year, for instance, on a May "ER" episode on NBC and on CBS' March special using video from inside the World Trade Center.
ABC's broadcast of a racy Victoria's Secret fashion special in November prompted complaints to the Federal Communications Commission, which ruled that it did not violate indecency regulations.
Five days after the Behar incident, hosts of "The View" noted they had received about 100 letters of complaint.
"It was stupid to beep that," co-host Star Jones said. "They let us say all kinds of things on TV, but they beep Jesus? That makes no sense."
Falwell, in a newspaper column, said he believed ABC's action was wrong. What makes it worse, he said, is that many cable television networks are habitually blasphemous.
"Conservative Catholics and evangelical Christians are expected to accept this double standard and keep our mouths shut," he said.
This is really disturbing to me. Whenever there is a "bleep" on television, we are conditioned to assume it was a word(s) which are traditionally considered to be "obscene." Usually, if you watch the mouth of the speaker, you can even "see" what they're really saying. So now they're bleeping "Jesus;" hmmm......when did that word become obscene?
Unfortunately, a bleep sounds like a bleep, and nowadays, a bleep sound has acquired the impact of a profanity or obscenity, so that when viewers heard the bleep sound, it sounded to them as though the network was making the judgment that the name "Jesus" is offensive.
A bleeping tempest in a teapot. Don't forget that Falwell needs to keep his name in the news, and needs something to write about in his fundraising letters.
I know that in English, we often say the word "Jesus" when we hit our thumb with a hammer [for example], or as an exclamation of mild displeasure.
The Spanish speaking community, however, use this in place of "God Bless You" when someone sneezes for example. They will also use it as the first name of a male son - something unheard of in the English speaking world.
Cultural difference really, but kind of interesting from that perspective...
Hey, you're posting on Free Republic?!?!?!?!?!. Certainly ABC can defend itself without your assistance.
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. How many times a day do you or others say "Thank God for......(fill in the blank)?" How do you know that Behar meant it to be "in vain?" She's obviously extremely grateful to have succeeded in her diet, and if thanking Jesus is what she feels, then you can't judge her intentions. I do, however, agree with you totally about the images that a bleep gives us (see above.)
I think we need to call on ABC to answer what it is they are intending to prevent.
I'm rather tired of people slinging that name around, attached to everything from winning the lottery to buying a new automobile.
I'm sure that the ABC folks didn't think of it that way, but they unwittingly did something right for a change.
Star Jones, the fat black lady on The View reminds everyone daily that she's a lawyer, but I saw her on one of the quiz shows, and they handed her many very easy legal questions and she did not know the answer to even one.