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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