I’m working on a piece for Sunday night on profanity. It’s a fascinating subject and the interviews have been more interesting than I imagined.
I’m looking at profanity in regards to how we’ve gotten to this point where profane words are used so often that they’ve almost lost their power. The story will examine where the words come from. What the Bible says about using them and the effect they have on the people who say them and on the people they are directed toward.
I’ve interviewed a college football coach, a military chaplain, a theologian, a minister and about a dozen teenagers and some of their parents. I’m using clips from movies and tv shows and will look back on the first time a curse word made an appearance on network television.
Now, I want to tell a story of a minister or evangelist who once told a congregation a story and, for effect and to make a point, used a curse word. I want to tell that story as I think it would be effective in demonstrating how people of faith feel about those words. But the only way to really use the story is for me to tell the story in a standup.
So today I talked with my news director and general manager to see how they would feel about me using it. The religion reporter, using a profane word (not one of the big bad words but one we hear in movies and on the street quite often).
My options seem to be:
a) tell the story, say the word but bleep it out
b) tell the story, don’t bleep it out
c) don’t tell the story
I don’t know that a reporter for a local news station has ever intentionally used a profanity like this on the air. I don’t know that a reporter has ever intentionally used a profanity like this and even bleeped it out.
My news director and gm are neutral on this so far. My gm posted about it on his blog and asked for suggestions. I’m doing the same here.
So does anyone know if S**T has ever intentionally been used on a local newscast? If so, how was it used and what was the response? And I know some of you will have the knee-jerk reaction that this is just a stunt for sweeps. That’s not me and that’s not the point. I’m doing a story on profanity and if this story from the evangelist wasn’t a powerful way of demonstrating how people of faith think regarding profane words, I wouldn’t use it.
So let me know what you think and I’ll let you know what we decide. Then, I’ll pass along the story.