ER Shows, Tells It Like It Is


Immediately after the Janet Jackson Super Bowl stunt, NBC affiliates were concerned enough to ask that a scene in ER featuring the fleeting glimpse of an 80-year-old woman's breast be blurred. It was, even though the show aired at 10 p.m., within the FCC's "safe harbor" for indecency. Affiliates were just too nervous to take the chance.

Fast forward. It is probably a coincidence, but Thursday night, a day after those same affiliates filed comments with the FCC labeling its crackdown on "indecent" speech in the Bono case  "intolerable," ER featured the colorful epithets "dick" and "turd" and the full posterior nudity, not once but twice, of an 85 year old man. (Then again, the show might simply have been trying to get noticed amid the full-court Friends press--two hour finale, Leno tribute show, local news plugs.)

Oh, and one of the featured guests on NBC's Conan O'Brien show: Janet Jackson.