Parents Television Council, which monitors rudeness and lewdness on the TV and radio airwaves, complained about comic Kathy Griffin’s “obscene and unhinged” behavior on CNN’s New Year’s Eve special Monday night.
Griffin, who has co-hosted the New Year’s special with Anderson Cooper on CNN the past few years, has cursed and stripped down in the past in a blatant attempt to rouse anger and gain publicity. On Monday night, she did it again when she simulated a sexual act on Cooper that is generally not acceptable on broadcast TV.
It’s true that the Federal Communications Commission has no oversight over basic cable networks, the PTC felt many children were watching the show at that time and it was unbecoming of the CNN brand, as one TV critic in Baltimore felt.
I requested a comment from CNN but did not get one. Griffin wasn’t backing down.
“If you think this is the part where I’m going to apologize for trying to go down on Anderson Cooper, you are sorely mistaken,” Griffin said last night on David Letterman’s talk show.
“I tried, ladies and gays, I tried for you,” she added, turning to the studio crowd.
Here’s PTC’s press release:
Today, the Parents Television Council denounced Kathy Griffin’s obscene behavior while cohosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast with Anderson Cooper.
“For the past few years, CNN has placed its New Year’s Eve broadcast in the hands of a narcissistic Kathy Griffin, who has shown increasing contempt for the audience through her obscene and unhinged behavior. The onus is now on CNN. Either the network has a policy that allows its on-air talent to fondle a co-anchor’s genitals, or it has a policy that forbids such conduct. We ask CNN’s new CEO Jeff Zucker which one it is,” said PTC president Tim Winter.
The networks’ feeble ‘kids should be in bed’ argument doesn’t apply here because there are millions of families who let their kids stay up late on New Year’s Eve. In fact, networks are more likely to be broadcasting to audiences of families who stayed home to celebrate together than to singletons in their 20s and 30s who are more likely to be out at a bar, club or party.
In a free marketplace, angry cable consumers would be able to pick up their phones today and cancel CNN from their monthly subscriptions. But because the cable industry operates like a cartel, consumers cannot do so. Hopefully Griffin’s behavior will help Cable Choice become a reality,” concluded Winter.