Jon Stewart is on a Cable Channel, so why is he censored?

Jon Stewart’s Daily Show is not on basic channels, such as ABC/NBC/CBS, which are subject to heavy FCC indecency regulations.

Rather, his show is on a special cable channel, similar to FX, HBO, etc.

So why are all the dirty words still constantly bleeped out? They still don’t allow him to curse, even though he is formally on cable. During the 6am - 10pm timeframe, channels like HBO and Showtime show plenty of cursing, but another cable channel can’t do it?

You’re aware that it’s not only the government that can censor, right?

If that was the issue, he wouldn’t curse in the first place. But he does – and they constantly censor him. Which led me to believe that there were still some regulations they weren’t abiding by?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but even though the FCC rules don’t apply to Cable, 99% of Cable channels still censor themselves, whether it be swearing or nudity. But why? They shouldn’t be afraid – FCC explicitly doesn’t apply to them, and most of their controversial programs are late at night, anyway. Why is 99% of Cable TV (with the exception of the HBO and Showtime channels) pretty much the same as Broadcast TV, even though it has the freedom to avoid censorship?

I assume they don’t want to offend any viewers (or advertisers).

Or maybe they think the beeps are funny.

There are no regulations, but Comedy Central probably has their own internal rules about what is acceptable language. The show is shown in the early evening, which might have something to do with it, and mainly it’s to placate the people who can’t stand “bad language” and who would write letters to the channel.

The people who watch Jon Stewart are the young-and-liberal demographic. They would write letters and complain about words like “shit” and “fuck”? Sounds pretty far-fetched to me.

Repeat after me: The “liberal” media is exactly as liberal as the gigantic multinational corporations which sponsor the shows the media broadcasts. And exactly as risk averse.

Some people hate to hear four-letter words. Or they don’t want their children to hear them, or don’t want to have to explain to their children what they mean, or don’t want to offend dear old grandma, or think that four-letter words are a liberal plot to loosen morals and hand society over to Satan. They are loud about it. They threaten boycotts and protests and write letters to cable providers. They are a major pain.

So free cable generally censors words (and sex). It may be hard to figure out the rules given all the exceptions but it all comes down to one basic: nobody wants to deal with the crazies. Pay cable is a different world because the programmers can say to complainers that they specifically chose the channel because they are paying extra money for the specific purpose of receiving it. Free cable has no such out; it would rather sideline the whole issue.

The primary reason why basic cable channels have content standards is to appease advertisers. Premium cable channels don’t have that problem. (Of course even they have content standards; the premium movie channels don’t show hardcore pornography, for instance.)

They eliminate controversy, don’t offend the easily offended, and the rest of us know what they are saying in any case.

It really is just network policy. They let it slide sometimes. That clip has “bullshit” and “asshole” in it.

ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS are free to air networks, and thus subject to specific FCC regulation. While you may access them via cable or satellite, they remain free to air networks. On the other hand, Comedy Central is an basic cable and satellite television channel and not subject to the same level of FCC oversight.

I don’t know about you, but I pay good money for my cable. :wink:

I guess it depends on where you live. The first airing of each episode is 10 pm Central Time–not early evening here. Does the west coast get it at 8 pm, or is there a delayed feed? The episode is typically re-aired at 6:30c the next day. I believe the repeat episode sometimes has words censored that the original airing does not. The original airing, though, does often have words bleeped, too.

also, after midnight CC has aired South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut completely unbleeped. They also have aired stand-up comics and some of the roasts they’ve produced w/o censoring.

I’m pretty sure that most of the bleeping on the Daily Show is for comic effect. I mean, it’s on 5 days a week, and it the host himself being “censored”; he could just as easily not curse.

When Jon Stewart took over he turned The Daily Show from a very comedy-driven, frat-boy, raucousy (and very funny) kind of show into a pseudo-real (and much less funny) youth-oriented newscast (needless to say I much preferred Craig Kilborn). As such they can’t push the edge too far as they need to maintain at least some level of pseudo-journalistic integrity, otherwise big-name celebrity politicians wouldn’t go near it. This means allowing the occasional ‘shit’ or asshole’ etc. but F-bombs are right out. Besides, it’s not like they edit the whole sentence out and threaten to fire Stewart for saying them, they just bleep it. It’s win-win because everyone who wouldn’t mind the language still knows exactly what he said, and those who would mind don’t actually hear it being broadcast.

Remember too that The Daily Show has been Comedy Central’s highest rated show for a long time now, so they’re always going to treat it with kid gloves.

You wish. Tosh.0 is far higher and has been its whole run.

Highbrow humor gets the critics’ attention, but lowbrow humor has always been Comedy Central’s meat and potatoes.