I try to choose my language wisely on KAIT and I "try" to treat EVERY microphone like it is turned on, even when the news is not on air. Of course, I have been "accused" of saying some things in the past, but as I proved on the blog with airchecks... those viewers did not hear me correctly.
Anywho, a topic was brought up on a media message board about "what can anchors get away with" and I thought it was an interesting discussion. For example, one weather guy on the West Coast referred to the weather as being "crappy". I can "hopefully" get away with saying crappy on my blog, but I bet the phones would start ringing, if I said it on-air. Another meteorologist said that he referred to the roads as being "slicker than snot" and phones started ringing with complaints.
Even here at KAIT, one of our anchors said "I swear to God that some of these attendants don't have kids?..." following a story about a flight attendant making a jet land because a kid was talking too much (or something like that... I forgot the whole story).... But regardless, the phones started ringing. Right when he said it, I told him to get ready for some complaints...
Another former meteorologist at KAIT once said "Dad Gum" on air and the phones started ringing because it is an altered form of GD. I did not know that (or had not thought about it) until the phone complaints came in...
The level of complaints vary between locations and TV markets. The threshold in Region 8 is pretty low and that may not be a bad thing. If you let a few words slip out, there may be a slippery slope that leads to other things that would be accepted. Am I saying that the word "crappy" will lead to an F-bomb? Well... maybe not, BUT why start?
Ironically, after this discussion on the message board began, a news anchor at WNBC in New York accidentally dropped the F-bomb on live television last night. I'm not going to link the video because of the language, but it's all over the Internet.
The worst thing that ever happened to me is singing little song on the Weather Deck. I had no idea the cameras were rolling... At least nobody called, but my friends sure did give me a hard time about! That when I decided to treat every mic and camera as if it were live on TV.
Have a great day and watch your language!