“Juvenile editing” This American Life’s FCC complaint

“Public Radio is contributing to the ‘dumbing down’ or ‘numbing down’ of American children”

Written by Tom Nash
Edited by JPat Brown

Plenty of criticism has been lobbed at Ira Glass and his radio show This American Life, whose storytelling aesthetic has won plenty of scorn alongside its legions of fans. But only one person in the last five years decided to gripe to the Federal Government.

“I am writing to protest the use of FM 90.7 mHz, our public airwaves, during afternoon hours to air the expletive ‘God-D * * * ‘,” one listener complained to the Federal Communications Commission in 2012.

The listener then explains that “Public Radio is contributing to the ‘dumbing down’ or ‘numbing down’ of American children to profanity and impolite language, even as liberals, educators and Public Radio (PR) pundits profess to be alarmed by this trend,” and is doubly offended that public airwaves are being used to violate the Ten Commandments.

And finally, the listener, tired of NPR’s constant “pushing of the envelope,” goes straight for the jugular and accuses the show of “juvenile editing.”

Read the full complaint below, which states the impolite language came from the episode “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory.”

That episode, as it happens, is guilty of far greater sins and was later retracted.


This piece is part of America Hates That Show You Like: The FCC Complaints Project

Image via Wikimedia Commons