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F-Bommin'
May 26, 2005 12:57 PM   Subscribe

WCBS reporter Arthur Chi'en fired the same day for saying the F-word on air in response to two Opie and Anthony hecklers behind him. Should this man be fired for doing something any new yorker would do? WCBS seems to think so.Some are trying to "save" him. I say Let the Revolution begin.
posted by supertremendus (46 comments total)

 
Opie and Anthony were, of course, the New York DJs who were fired for encouraging people to fuck live on the air. So does that make this irony, hypocrisy, or just them being assholes again?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:00 PM on May 26, 2005


All three?
posted by supertremendus at 1:00 PM on May 26, 2005


He's a professional who's job it is to present a certain image on camera. Even without the F-word he blew it.
And if a reporter wants to report from a public street, the public owe him nothing, although most people will be nice in hopes that they'll be seen on TV.
posted by 2sheets at 1:05 PM on May 26, 2005


Maybe WCBS has another agenda?
posted by rolypolyman at 1:08 PM on May 26, 2005


So how did he not know he was on the air? Isn't that someone's job?
posted by smackfu at 1:09 PM on May 26, 2005


These little clowns get their moment of publicity, they get a pat on the head from their boss for being good little interns and the reporter loses his rag. In the UK I am sure I've seen people curse on the news (and a bit rougher than fock off).

It scares me that organisations like Viacom think this is worth firing someone for. How much of the world's media does Viacom actually own?

I would be interested to know if it's a world wide policy of theirs.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 1:10 PM on May 26, 2005


Who would be hurt by one little "fuck" slipping out? People hear "fuck" all the time.

It's fine for a news organization to have a policy against swearing on the air, but it is silly to fire someone for doing so once. (And if the FCC thinks it's worth a fine -- do they? or do they have some sense? -- that is just as silly.)
posted by pracowity at 1:21 PM on May 26, 2005


He shouldn't be fired for his first offense, nor probably his second. It needs to be a pattern of misbehavior for termination in my book. Suspend/discipline him if you must. Just my2c.

So what's going on in your city?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:24 PM on May 26, 2005


Come on, it's not like he showed a blurry nipple for less than half a second! Cut the guy some slack. Jeez!
posted by Hugh2d2 at 1:24 PM on May 26, 2005


This serves Chi'en right for being a French dog
posted by gurple at 1:25 PM on May 26, 2005


That is pretty fucked. I mean it is New York. His use of fuck was not in 'obscene' fornication sense. I think he should get a job in the White House press corps. "My follow up question Mr. President is why the fuck didn't you answer my first question, man?"

I am going to complain to get WCBS taken off the air due to the intern's use of an obscene finger gesture. Sure it has no control over what passersby do, but dammit what if children saw that?
posted by birdherder at 1:34 PM on May 26, 2005


If he's smart he could go on Opie and Anthony, turn himself into the "WTFIYP?" guy, and probably get his own talk show out of it.
posted by fungible at 1:41 PM on May 26, 2005


It's CBS. We shouldn't expect anything better.

Although watching the footage now that's pretty hilarious and kind of ... well, yeah, it's New York. Maybe he can get a job with the Daily Show doing actual live (-to-tape) non-blue-screen reporting.
posted by blacklite at 1:52 PM on May 26, 2005


I'm going to have to disagree with the (apparent) majority here. Since when did we all agree that saying "fuck" on TV was ok? In the last few years, I've seen TV get more and more racy to the point where now some people don't think we should have any standards for broadcast content. I don't think it's going to make children grow up to be serial killers to hear the f-word on TV, but there has to be some standard. Seems pretty clear-cut to me.

(As an aside, the nipple thing continues to burn me up - why doesn't anyone ever mention the "simulated sexual violence" aspect of that event? That's what was really offensive to me.)
posted by jimmy76 at 2:02 PM on May 26, 2005


I would prefer a real human being to a blow-dried press poodle . . . Let the fucks begin ! ! !
posted by mk1gti at 2:02 PM on May 26, 2005


With regard to the hecklers, what's the most appropriate term to describe these guys -- the type of no-class knuckleheads who take their marching orders from the likes of Opie & Anthony and Howard Stern (i.e., Northeast-based urban white trash)? Mook? Meathead? Guido? I've always been curious about this.
posted by gigawhat? at 2:03 PM on May 26, 2005


So how did he not know he was on the air? Isn't that someone's job?
posted by smackfu at 1:09 PM PST on May 26 [!]


He let the fuck fly after finishing his segment. He was technically no longer on air, but the feed was still live.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:04 PM on May 26, 2005


By the way, anyone know who's benefiting from the CafePress site?
posted by mudpuppie at 2:07 PM on May 26, 2005


I don't think anyone is agreeing that saying the word Fuck is okay on network tv. BUT, people are saying that if someone slips ONCE (with his microphone down at his side) then it shouldn't be seen as a horrible offense. Who knows what kind of a day he was having before this report. I think a decent corporation would give the guy a break, and let him keep his job. Suspension, fine, whatever, but to fire this guy is mean and hypocritical considering the type of language you KNOW his bosses use down at the clubhouse.
posted by JBennett at 2:19 PM on May 26, 2005


I've seen TV get more and more racy to the point where now some people don't think we should have any standards for broadcast content.

ome rational people are saying that saying fuck, not into a microphone, while you're being heckled, one time, isn't really that big a deal. Personally I think that word-based censorship is an inherently flawed and ridiculous proposition, but that's just me.

P.S. Your argument might have been weakened when you said "fuck" mid-post.
posted by mosch at 2:30 PM on May 26, 2005


Chi'en deserves a promotion to anchor if anything, but I'm not wasting my time complaining to WCBS. This is the same channel that started a running series where they accost random gas station employees for not cleaning the American flag they have flying out front often enough. Better than even odds the producers are former Opie & Anthony interns themselves.
posted by queen zixi at 2:44 PM on May 26, 2005


Better than even odds the producers are former Opie & Anthony interns themselves.

No no no, former O&A producer Rick Delgado was one of the ones reprimanded/fired for the infamous tsunami song on Hot97 (in NY).
posted by Mach5 at 2:56 PM on May 26, 2005


WCBS can go f*** themself.
posted by mike3k at 2:57 PM on May 26, 2005


Opie and Anthony are scum. I'm sure they are delighted that they got somebody fired.
posted by mrhappy at 3:07 PM on May 26, 2005


but there has to be some standard

WHY? There clearly isn't any standard for the "truth" of journalism so why any for it's syntax and content? I saw ABC two nights ago show a picture of mutilated 7 year old girl and give some of the most salacious descriptions of sexual assault ever. What is the standard there?

Let the free fucking market decide. You can have the clean news and the nasty news.
posted by tkchrist at 4:03 PM on May 26, 2005


1. there have always been people who think that we shouldn't have standards for broadcast content.
2. the word "standards" in this sense is meaningless.
3. who should judge these things? to many, the fcc has proven themselves wholly inept at performing their function, either for being too strong or too lenient, depending on who you ask.
4. as has already been said, he thought he was off air, didn't say it into the mic, etc...
5. it's a word. kids who would see this have already heard it, and parents who put young children in front of television news deserve what they get. if a child hears the word fuck for the first time, that's the least of his problems.
6. there is no word that, having been heard by anyone, will do anything more dangerous than provide mild discomfort upon hearing it. Surely, if a word gets on air by accident, the speaker can be forgiven.
posted by shmegegge at 4:10 PM on May 26, 2005


i for one would tune into a newscast that said fuck at least once a day.

and i dare say i know a few others who would do the same.
posted by tsarfan at 4:25 PM on May 26, 2005


This little fish journo says Fuck when he thinks he's off the air and loses his job. The Vice President of the USA tells a Senator to Go Fuck Himself on the floor of the Senate and nothing happens. What's wrong with this picture?
posted by fenriq at 4:41 PM on May 26, 2005


They work for different employers, fenriq.

And people getting up in arms about Opie & Anthony (who I'll admit are mediocre Stern impersonators at best) need to relax. I thought you liberals were supposed to be all open minded and shit. Wonder why this bothers you so much?

the type of no-class knuckleheads who take their marching orders from the likes of Opie & Anthony and Howard Stern (i.e., Northeast-based urban white trash)? Mook? Meathead? Guido?

Ahh. Thanks

Seriously, as you guys have told countless fundy bluenoses over the years, if you don't like it, change the station to NPR or something.
posted by jonmc at 4:48 PM on May 26, 2005


Again with the ruckus about usage of the word fuck.

We've had journos say stuff off air that would make sailors blush.


The big wigs of American print/tv/internet media really got to start worrying more about credibility than naughty words.
posted by JGreyNemo at 4:49 PM on May 26, 2005


"Tom: Course no one can see this news program so it doesn't really matter what we say. I'm the lord Jesus Christ.. I think I'll go get drunk and beat up some midgets.. how about you Diane?

Diane: Well Tom I just plain don't like black people.
"

From: here.
posted by basicchannel at 5:20 PM on May 26, 2005


blacklite: That sounds like a brilliant idea.
posted by Eideteker at 6:16 PM on May 26, 2005


Fuck CBS if they can't take a joke.
posted by clevershark at 6:27 PM on May 26, 2005


Actually this reminds me that I caught an episode of Chappelle's show yesterday without the bleeping (in Canada). It was refreshing to see that not everyone goes nuts when they hear certain words, although sometimes bleeping stuff out makes it funnier.
posted by clevershark at 6:29 PM on May 26, 2005


OMG YOU POSTED!!

<3
posted by modernsquid at 6:29 PM on May 26, 2005


cue Howard Beale:

Howard Beale: Good evening. Today is Wednesday, September the 24th, and this is my last broadcast. Yesterday I announced on this program that I was going to commit public suicide, admittedly an act of madness. Well, I'll tell you what happened: I just ran out of bullshit. Am I still on the air? I really don't know any other way to say it other than I just ran out of bullshit.

Harry Hunter: [picks up ringing phone in editing room] Mr. Schumacher's right here, do you want to talk to him?

Howard Beale: Bullshit is all the reasons we give for living. If we can't think up reasons of our own, we always have the God bullshit.

Max Schumacher: [on the phone] Yeah, Tom, what is it?

Howard Beale: We don't know why we go through all this pointless pain, humiliation, and decay. So there better be someone somewhere who *does* know. That's the God bullshit.

Max Schumacher: He's saying that life is bullshit, and it is, so what are you screaming about?
[hangs up]

Howard Beale: And then, there's the noble man bullshit; that man is a noble creature that can order his own world; who needs God? Well, if there's anybody out there that can look around this demented slaughterhouse of a world we live in and tell me that man is a noble creature, believe me: That man is full of bullshit. I don't have anything going for me. I haven't got any kids. And I was married for forty-three years of shrill, shrieking fraud. So I don't have any bullshit left. I just ran out of it, you see.

posted by shmegegge at 7:06 PM on May 26, 2005


Don't forget the crap the White House has been piling on the media, especially CBS, owned by Viacom. I suspect this was an overreaction that would have been less likely to occur in other times. It was an accident, but not one Chien's employers had the courage to fight for.


Another off camera moment: "We begin bombing in 5 minutes." Too bad we couldn't have fired Ron then.

TV Standards: People fought for V-Chip and TV ratings for broadcast TV. Is it too much to ask the owners to program/set up their fucking TVs? I realize the "news" isn't likely to be rated, but those who want TV content regulated more should take action with their own TVs and quietly enjoy them. /peeve
posted by infowar at 7:48 PM on May 26, 2005


I always thought he was really good looking, so I think they should bring him back on the air :-D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:53 PM on May 26, 2005 [1 favorite]


Life sucks, deal with it.
posted by HTuttle at 10:26 AM on May 27, 2005


Er -- I believe this is the Arthur Chien I went to high school with. Which would make him one of my favorite people in the world, and a Real New Yorker.

Which is to say: he should say whatever the fuck his NYC audience is already thinking. I don't mean to oversimplify, but you know, it's New York City, we're all family here.
posted by cloudscratcher at 10:30 AM on May 27, 2005


Let the free fucking market decide. You can have the clean news and the nasty news.

The problem is we won't get the clean news and the nasty news, we'll get a race to the bottom like we see with the cable news networks - a mishmash of info-tainment that is all form and no substance. I agree that standards of journalism are slipping, but those standards (whether enforced by the government or not) are good for the media, and good for democracy. What good is the free market if the market has such low expectations?

(I'm going on a tangent of course, I just think people are too quick to throw "standards of decency" out the window simply because they're hard to define or somehow an infringement of someone's freedom of speech.)
posted by jimmy76 at 11:07 AM on May 27, 2005


but why couldn't they swear it up, and then use the money spent on the bleeper to pay for more investigative reporting or something?
posted by Iax at 4:15 PM on May 27, 2005


He should have stayed at NY1. You can't say "fuck" on the news, especially when you're reporting on air--it's clearly a fire-able offense. Maybe he wasn't ready to move up? (CBS has a bunch of former NY1 reporters on staff, i think)
posted by amberglow at 4:51 PM on May 27, 2005


cloud, do you say "fuck" at work? in front of your boss? your grandma? there are times it's appropriate and times it isn't. We all know that.
posted by amberglow at 4:52 PM on May 27, 2005


amberglow: cloud, do you say "fuck" at work? in front of your boss? your grandma? there are times it's appropriate and times it isn't. We all know that.


um. well i do. in front of the boss, definitely. with the grandma i take a chance, y'know. most times i think she can handle it. i don't think the word 'fuck' itself is important - in ten years it will be one of the first words coming out of babies' mouths.

more important is the virtriolic nature of the word in contemporary society, and the "real" question, in my opinion, is whether that abrasive "sentiment" is acceptable in front of your boss or grandma.

i think it is. i mean, at what point do you decide that though you're irked at something, you still have red-tape of conduct to adhere to? i guess, if you don't want to be fired from your CBS job ... heh. oh well.
posted by ginbiafra at 8:00 PM on May 28, 2005


10 years? That sounds like we have an F-Bomb gap to me. I'm going to get started making some babies RIGHT NOW so I can train them to say "fuck" straight away.

But I'll need 3 years, 100 million dollars, and a whole lotta liquor, Senator. Just remember, the American people not only demand it; they deserve it, sir.
posted by Eideteker at 1:00 AM on May 29, 2005


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