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The second most powerful man in our country–the one who sits one heartbeat or motorcade crash away from the Presidency–dropped the F-bomb during one of the most historic and highly rated television news moments in history.
You can hear it here and see it here. Even though it was bleeped out of almost all subsequent re-broadcasts, there was of course no doubt as to what he said, especially since just about every tagline (on screens) and headline (newspapers) clearly proclaimed that the VP had dropped the F-bomb.
Mr. Biden has goofed up before. He once gave condolences to a foreign head of state whose loved one had not passed away. He’s lost his temper and he’s also contradicted his President and even himself. But that’s the main thing I’m concerned about.
What has my attention is this: we used to live in a nation where manners still meant something, and cussing was seen as undignified and uncivil as it was distasteful and disrespectful in public conversation. I love progress and don’t need to hold onto the past–except when the past had it better. And I’m not just talking “The Sound of Music” here. James Bond didn’t have to cuss to be suave. Forrest Gump didn’t need to cuss to be tough. The Star Trek crew didn’t need to cuss to attract an audience. The Star Wars characters didn’t have to cuss to be entertaining or beloved. Batman, Spiderman, Superman…even Wonder Woman didn’t need to cuss to be idolized.
Now, we’ve sunk so far that instead of demanding an apology for cussing on the airwaves and setting a horrible example for our kids, the TV stations replaying Biden’s F-bomb as a joke. Heck, the gaffe has already been made into hot-selling T-shirt!


The F-bomb remains one of the very few words banned on public broadcast and cable stations. The s-word gets said a lot. The bs-word gets said a lot more. The one that’s the worst of all in my mind–the gd-word–has been allowed on cable for a long time now. And calling someone by various forms of the male donkey word is almost common place. When you get down to it, the F-bomb and the N-word are really about the only two words still banned. No wonder our kids talk the way they do.
So I will applaud all of the Directors and Writers who produce their material without the need of rampant cussing, and hope the train would swing so far back the other way that a Presidential F-word (a flap, faux pas or flaky moment) moment would result in an immediate apology and/or community service. Let’s get the Veep onto a freeway cleaning up some trash, and maybe then he–and the station programmers out there–could start cleaning up their mouths. I’m not naïve, nor do I think that Mr. Biden (a lifetime family man) is necessarily a bad guy. I’d just like to see us have a greater commitment to the part of manners that is a choice of language that’s suitable for the situation.
So I’m looking for the one cable channel that will show cuss-free programming. I’ll pay the premium. I’m looking for Congress to grant the .kids top level domain name, and I’ll secure sites there. I’m looking for the filmmakers that will say “enough with the cussing” and work a little harder to get their desired effect. And I’m looking for the generation of kids that would raise and how it would improve our culture.

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