question of the day: Have Goldman Sachs’s “shitty deals” broken a language barrier on American TV?

I was pretty surprised when, one night last week, Keith Olbermann ran some unedited, unbleeped Senate testimony about the recent Wall Street disaster that featured evidence from Goldman Sachs internal emails proving that they knew that at least one fund they were selling was not only toxic, it was “a shitty deal.”

Senator Carl Levin, among others, used the word shitty repeatedly, and even though Olbermann’s show runs at 8pm on a basic cable channel, there was that word, over and over again, in all its scatalogical glory.

But that was nothing to my surprise early yesterday, when one of CNN’s Sunday morning talk shows featured an interview with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein — who had also appeared in that “shitty” testimony last week — and there was the word all over again, unedited, uncensored, full blast. And not in reruns of the testimony, but in a direct conversation.

Have Goldman Sachs’s “shitty deals” broken a language barrier on American TV? Can we expect a new openness when it comes to coarse language, even if only in factual, newsy situations? Or was this a one-time-only offer for those who prefer reality real and unexpurgated?

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Mon, May 03, 2010 9:26am

I think using the adjectival form made it a bit more palatable. Using the blunt noun form would have been too much. Even so the national news media bleeped the word when I saw the report, so it was a borderline thing.

Mon, May 03, 2010 10:05am

I for one welcome our new shitty overlords.

Wait, that’s the wrong meme.

Ah….. hmm. This is long overdue. We’ve had a content ratings system for decades now, and we have televisions that can automatically block programs that are below a certain ratings threshold. Hell, the v-chip is mandatory in the US, isn’t it? Anyway, long overdue.

Also: Fuck the FCC!

Ooooh, yeah, that’s the one.

Mon, May 03, 2010 1:23pm

More than likely a one shot deal.

Ogami Itto
Ogami Itto
Mon, May 03, 2010 1:49pm

Yeah, I was also surprised they didn’t bleep the word during Olbermann. IIRC, Rachel Maddow’s show bleeped the word, though. Strange.

Mon, May 03, 2010 2:25pm

There are far more obscene and deplorable things on TV than the word “shitty” that’s for sure.

Josh C.
Josh C.
Mon, May 03, 2010 4:06pm

I remember hearing the word shit, unbleeped, on CNN, when George Bush said this to Tony Blair, so this can’t be the first.