Please make me apologize… The FCC as Marketing Partner

Ok newspapers, radio stations and shows, cable networks, any and all entertainment related news shows,
listen up. Im with the PR department of the broadcast network. We all know that the FCC is getting persnickety
(bet you havent used that word in a sentence recently), about nudity and language. Let us first say, we
cant thank them enough.

The environment is perfect for both of us. We want as much media coverage of our programming as we can possibly
get. You need things to cover. So here is the deal. From our end, we are going to create

An Apologevent is where we plan an event that we know we will have to apologize for. The Apologevent will be
designed to entice all the “Im shockedby anything” viewers to call their local stations, their newspapers and
of course Inside Edition, The Insider, etc toremind them of how inappropriate theApologevent was and
howshocked they are.

In exchange for the story we ask that TV outletsstick to the follow guidelines and schedules .

First, you are going to tease the Apologevent in promotions for yourshow. Then you will report thatyou
got calls and emailsabout the Apologevent. Ifyou have extra time to kill, you will have a poll
about the Apologevent on your website and you will report the results. Then you willshow the Apologevent.

Then you will ask some people on camera what they thought of it. Then you will show the Apologevent again. Of
course, we will gladly make the participants available to comment on the Apologevent. Then you will end the coverage
of the Apologevent by saying that our network has officially apologized for the Apologevent. We dont know how it
happened, but we are looking intoit.Then you will add that we are working hard to insure it doesnt
happen again.

Then you will be required to do a followup story the next day. The story behind the Apologevent. We will provide
you with whatever video and access that you need.

Then 5 days later, or the following Monday, whichever comes first, you will do the aftermath story. This one
is completely up to you. If we can help with any of our other celebrities to comment on how it turned out to be no
big deal, we are glad to.

Of course , we promise not to do this too often. Even we at the network cant get away with this more than 1x
a quarter.

My goodness. Canwe (and you “we’s know exactly who we are) get any more hypocritical

We create media standards thatprobably 1 pct of the population can actually live up to. I dont know
anyone who has melted or exploded from saying or hearing a curse word. In my group of friends I know fewer who have
never cursed or honestly think they will never curse again. Heck, I mean hell, even curse words from when I was a kid
arent curse words on TV anymore. You can say Hell all you want. When i was a kid, it was H-E-Double Hockey Sticks or
out comes the soap. Damn was very, very naughty and disrespectful. Not any more.

Whats even crazier and more hypocritical is that we can usea derivative of any curse word
and not have a problem at all. Frickin’… Go for it. F’in. No F’in way.. No problem. You are
full of Shinola. Let er rip. FUBAR…Make em figure out what it means. My fave is MOFO…Acronyms are a blast

Of course you can also say “He used the F word” or “The S word slipped in an interview”. Its kind of a protected
and accepted abbreviation. No one has to explain what either means to anyone over 10. Its ok to conjure
about 250 ways to make someone think exactly what we want them to think without saying what the FCC and other
watchdogs say we arent allowed to say ! Which leads to the very deep question:

If someone makes you think a curse word in your mind without physically saying a curse word, did
either one of you curse ?

How long will it take for a college to come up with a class about that.

You can also conjure up almost naked images. Show a woman from behind. Her head and a naked back only.Hair
down to cover the suit tied behind her neck. Untie the back so it hangs down. Slide over to give usa glimpse
ofher from the side. You know what happens next? We all will pretend that she is naked.

We know she isnt . Doesnt matter. If you show a woman who is pretend naked at the wrong time on tv, it creates a
firestorm. The media goes nuts. Thanks once again to the FCC. Isnt the FCC wonderful ?Everyone reports that a
network showed a woman pretend naked when we were expecting to see football.We have an Apologevent. Just
what networks love to drive publicity. Its a dream come true.

But what about all the kids that saw the woman pretend naked ? Of course they had no idea that this
was so big a deal until we told them. Which made them all go on the internet and download pictures of the pretend
naked scene.

Not understanding what the big deal was, they realized they have to share all of this with their friends. Kids
love to talk about meaningless things their parents make a big deal over.

The kids have a problem.Their friends will consider them lame if they send pretend naked video., so they
find a real naked image and combine it with the fake naked and now they are cool.

Why do we let the FCC be so hypocritical. Isthere some secret National Association of Broadcasters lobby
asking them to do it because they know the fines they pay or might pay are minisculerelative to the value
of advertising, marketing and promotionthey get from an Apologevent ?

Or is it that we as a nation like to think we are more sophisticated than say the Canadians. In Canada real
naked on TV is ok. In Canada curse words on TV arent so bad. In the US, fake naked is bad, fake
cursewords are ok.

What makesthis funny is that asa country we LOVEthe bizarreness of it all. We listen
toHoward Stern to seejust how he is going to get around all the restrictions on potty, flatulence and
sexual humor. We listen and watch conservative commentators to see just how indignant they are
going to pretend to be about the fake naked and curse words. Whats more fun then to listen to Bill O Reilly or Rush
Limbaugh to hear how many different ways they can restate the unforgiveable cursewords using fake
cursewors.laughing at the fact they are making us think of the curseword in our head.

How excited in anticipation do we get wondering what Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan OBrien, Carson
Daly , The Craig Kilborn Show, Dennis Miller and John McEnroe will do every night to make fun of the fake naked or

We tune into all the Tabloid shows like Inside Edition to crack up over how many times they show the fake naked
and replay thecursewords, with beeps on the audio. We all know that beeped audio is ok because we can
lipread the real curseword easily since we have heard the fake curseword version so many times in other reports.
These shows are the best because they askcelebrities what they think about fake naked and cursewords, and we
get to hear big time celebs use fake cursewords to replace thereal cursewords.

Then we buy Star, People and US Magazines because we know one of them will have uncovered pictures of the fake
naked that proves it was fake, or a picture of them uttering the cursewords, hopefully with a hand gesture to go with
it.If we are really lucky, one of them has found a picture , unearthed by a close friend, of the
first time the person used thecurseword and the friend talking about how they were young , stupid and drunk at
the time.If the magazine really hits the big time and happens to uncover a picture ofwhen they were
first fake naked, or heaven forbid real naked (but with the real parts blurred to make it fake naked) and not
yeta celebrity, then the friend who unearthed the picture will comment about how they were young, stupid, drunk
and also poor at the time.

Isntthis all fun !

Some celebs are really smart. They make themselves available for commentary about the fake naked or
cursewordsand then put out hints that they too might someday do fake naked or real cursewords. This alerts the
media to follow them all the time , just in case they do fake naked or utter real cursewords at a time they can catch
them on video.

This would mean the celeb has created an Apologevent and the whole cycle starts again to play out unless a bigger
celebrity creates an Apologevent and bumps the lesser celeb from the airwaves

How much is an Apologevent of fake naked or cursewords worth ? A whole lot of marketing worth a whole lot of

Thanks FCC. You are a wonderful marketing partner

74 thoughts on “Please make me apologize… The FCC as Marketing Partner

  1. You want an Apologevent? OK, then let’s also have a PenaltyEvent!!! Then let’s see these TV execs sweat. Let the public decide if the issue is offensive to America or not (no fixing).

    Have a viewer voting system decide the monetary fine amount to access the TV Network, if at all. Use one of those “America’s Idol” handhelds. The actors can plead their case. Throw in Mark Geragos for commentary. 5 Mil, 10 Mil penalty. Show the TV execs face on the show so that we’ll know who gets fired. Call it, “You’re Fired or Not”.

    Comment by -

  2. Mark, Just stumbled across this site and must say I had great fun reading it. One thing I’d like to point out (for what it’s worth) is that so much of the current travesty that is the FCC and the religious right getting their panties in a twist over this stuff can eventually be traced back to what has become an excusable lack of parenting in this country. Nowadays, people leave their kids in front of a TV or a video game console and let that take over tha task of parenting. Rather than spend the time with their children – learning what makes their kids tick, what questions they have, and how they can positively impact their offspring – a lot of people merely shrug it off. So kids learn things from the media rather than from where they ought to, from their parents. This adds fuel to the fire of those who would curtail basic freedom of expression.

    Remember what it was like when you were a kid? Your folks would talk to you about stuff (well, most stuff, heh). Cripes I remember my dad explaining the function of breasts on a woman when I suddenly developed a fascination with my babysitter’s one night and squeezed it. I was too young for the birds and bees talk, but he sat me down and told me how they function as food for babies and how important they were, etc. etc. etc. Parents, or rather supposed parents, don’t take the time to do that anymore. It’s easier to let the media school a kid. So of course these idiots are going to get upset. “Hey, whoa Nelly, my kid can’t see a boob on TV – that means I might actually have to SPEND TIME with him and EXPLAIN things and TALK to him about it. And jeez, look at the time, I’ve got golf in thirty minutes. F that, I’ll just call the FCC and complain and they can police the airwaves. Hell, I’m a taxpayer after all.”

    Sad, sad, sad. As a published author, the continuing erosion of civil liberties is of great concern to me. How long before people refocus their energies on targeting books? I’ve got a sex and a lot of violence in what I write. And a lot of my readers are teens. So am I going to have the equivalent of the FCC breathing down my neck if what I write gets deemed inappropriate? Swell.

    Although the “apologevent” would be killer publicity for me, lol. Keep writing, Mark!

    Comment by Jon F. Merz -

  3. Mark,

    Somewhat ironic you post this considering the massive quantums of words that have multiple meanings. I know you listen to the Ticket (1310 AM) on occasion; have you heard some of their terms that are vulgar such as FUPA, peanut butter factor, grooming issues, and landing strip. Even your own wonderful play-by-play guy has issued “massive quantums” from time to time.


    Comment by Sonny Baker -

  4. Mark, I’m dying to hear (as I’m sure many others are) your take on the festivities at the Palace tonight. Personally, while my gut cheered on Artest on his quest to kick some drunken obnoxious butt, my brain screamed at him for being so childish and unable to control himself. As an owner, I’m sure you can appreciate the antipathy that all professional sports leagues have towards player/fan confrontations, especially in the stands. From a purely business perspective, I’m terrified if my players enter the stands because of the complete wildcard factor. Thank God for the Pacers and their owner that no one was hurt, that no one threw anything more serious than a drunken punch or a beer, and that no one snuck a switchblade or a blackjack through security.

    The thing I’m most curious to hear about from you (and that I expect would address in a blog entry even if I didn’t pose this question) is about the conflicting interests you face. On one hand, your players are your product; losing them due to suspension decreases the quality of play, leading to a smaller gate, decreased ad revenue, etc. On the other, the players break an obligation to you – to stay healthy and focus on basketball – when they jump into the stands. Do you punish them for breaking that obligation? Do you protect them from the mercy of the NBA? What about the fans? Would love to hear your thoughts.


    Comment by Kyle S -

  5. I thought Jon Stewart nailed it when he said the problem with the intro was that it took attention from the beer commericals featureing scantily clad women fighting for a bottle.

    Comment by Zach -

  6. Pistons!

    Man those are piston fans. I think they love their team most. I hate those being a Laker fan but the courage they showed , gr8. I am not prasing them for thorwing bottles, or chairs, I am prasing that they did it on one sound from Ben. I rem last season they shouted all night long to stop lakers frm sleep ( which was not needed, they were already playing too bad)
    Whatever it is …this should be stopped but every team should dream for such loyal fans!

    Comment by Kedar -

  7. When the NFL stops selling alcohol at games and when they stop showing ads for alcohol and hard on medication during broadcasts, they can call themselves “family entertainment.” When I watch a family program such as “The Lion King” on ABC on a Saturday night, I certianly do not see those types of ads. The hypocricy of the NFL on this issue just baffles me. And to think, conservatives accused John Kerry of sending “mixed messages.”

    The real problem here though is not the minority that writes in to complain about stuff like this, it’s the majority of us who not bothered by it who DON’T write in to say that we’re not.

    btw – the green and blue mavs uniforms are awesome! much better than the silver one’s from last year.

    Comment by Bill -

  8. Doesn’t anyone laugh anymore?

    “Are you ready to watch some football?”. . .

    Comment by Harry Roedersheimer -

  9. …sounds like I should move to Canada…

    Comment by Pandemonium -

  10. Just like the controversy with Fahrenheit 9/11 and The Passion, the controversy over the Monday Night Football skit will probably help Desperate Housewives ratings. I wouldn’t be surprised if DVD sales of Saving Private Ryan go up. If I was a marketer, I would try to draw a controversy from the FCC.

    Comment by entertainment -

  11. Way to go! It’s about time we put the F back in FCC.*LOL*

    Comment by Easy -

  12. I’m not a Bible-thumping prude — far from it. But, there is a time and place for everything. The FCC has not gone over-board, but they are trying to put the genie back in the bottle. The FCC is relatively lax in allowing content in later evening hours and with parental warnings ahead of time. Many people believe that sports events such as Monday Night Football are (and have been wholesome.) Serius and pay-per-view are fine as you know what you are getting. Let’s not go overboard, but some restraint IS necessary and appreciated by parents trying to raise children.

    Comment by Rob Rothe -

  13. I think that you have just said what the majority of us (“us” meaning people of normal intelligence, ability to reason, people who can take things with a grain of salt, people born with the whole “I’m rubber you’re glue” mentality) believe. You know what? I’m only 17 years old. I understand that curse words are inappropriate at times.
    I can clearly recall my first time swearing, my friend told me to call this one girl a bitch. I had no idea what it meant but I said it and it got a rise out of her. I got in trouble by my dad for saying that and he told me that swearing should not be common in my speech but he understood that I would say them anyway. He asked me to just follow 2 rules, 1)do not swear in front of adults and 2) do not swear in front of women, young or old.
    TV Shows did not make me swear and music and movies are not an influence when it comes to swearing. All of what I learned came at school, at recess, with friends. They learned it from others at recess, or from their brothers and sisters, etc.
    Also, Why are curse words so bad? You talked about curse words that are everchanging. I too remember when Hell was H-E-Double Hockey Stick. Why is it that damn is fine on tv but goddammit is bleeped out?
    I have been offended only one time at something that I heard. It was on Eminem’s first cd. I bought the cd and took it home to listen to (explicit version btw) and when I came to the song ’95 Bonnie and Clyde (I think that is what it was called) and listened to Em talk about killing his wife in front of Hailey (his daughter) I was offended, shocked, and at my age I was not ready to hear that. With that song I stopped the cd and put it away in the case and put it in a drawer and I never touched it for about two years.
    I don’t understand the big deal with all the controversy about everything, from Howard Stern to the Saving Private Ryan fiasco. If someone is offended by something I offer them a simple suggestion, turn the channel or do not pay attention to it. By tuning to it you understand that some of the content may be upsetting to you. If you are watching or listening to something that is unfamiliar to you (for instance if you haven’t seen Saving Private Ryan) after watching or listening for a few minutes you should be able to tell if the content will be offensive for you.
    With my Eminem experience I knew that I was offended by it and was not able to accept at that age that it was mearly story telling and not something that really happened. What did I do when I listened to something that I was not ready to handle? I stopped listening to that cd. I didn’t keep listening to that cd. I knew if I did I would accidentally start to listen to that song before I realized what it was and would listen to the same lyrics that offended me in the first place.

    I urge you Mark to try to get a group formed, a group whose sole purpose is to fight the FCC and its unconstitutional restraints on the First Amendment. Get together with other celebrities and outspoken people opposed to the FCC and the decline of Free Speech. Such celebrities can include Howard Stern, Penn and Teller (Watch the episode of their show Bullshit, 2nd season i think, that deals with Profanity), George Carlin, Carlos Mencia (he has a whole set dedicated to the fact that people are stupid and are offended by everything nowadays, very funny guy and very smart), other comedians. Radio DJs from all over will jump on board to fight the cause. I strongly beg of you to do something like this. I am offended and afraid that my free speech rights will be severely restricted by the time I become and adult and I hope that people today will stand up for their rights and the rights of the people.

    Thank you all who read all I wrote. I’m sure I spelled some stuff wrong here or there and probably rambled occasionally but I have had all this bottled up and I just wrote what came to mind. This is an issue that I really amd passionate about and I wish that I could just do something about it.

    Thanks again,
    Steven Blubaugh
    Age 17, Senior in HS in South Dakota

    Comment by Steven Blubaugh -

  14. I just can’t feel sorry for people who tuned in to see violence but instead saw sex. Are they offended by the shots of the scantily clad cheerleaders throughout the game? How about the Republican Coors twins wrestling during the commercial breaks? Those are both staples of every televised football game.

    I have no problem, and don’t begrudge, anyone who thinks the opener was innappropriate for themselves or their children. But if that’s the level of your sensitivity, than even without the opener, Monday Night Football is clearly not for you. Just like Saving Private Ryan apparantly wasn’t for many of the same people on Veteran’s Day.

    Comment by Mike L -

  15. Mark, great take on the whole situation. My first time to your site has been quite rewarding.

    now, for all of you thanking the FCC for getting on to the networks should know better. You say you don’t want your children to see those type of images or hear those words. What do you think goes on in Primetime television. Everyone out there knows that time of night is geared toward adults so they have something to watch after the workday and while the kids are working on homework. think about this, what shows are on from 3-6 on network tv? shows that curse, show half-naked women? no. most of those shows are geared towards the younger crowd. after 6, the adult themed shows appear. when i was growing up, my parents didnt want me watching shows of that nature. and i respected them for that, so i didnt watch. did i still learn to curse? yes. but not from tv because i didnt see it there till i was out of high school. if you dont want your kids learning things from tv, then teach them elsewhere. they should not be watching that sort of tv if you dont want them to. if they are, then the problem is with your parenting “skills”, and not with the network airing something intended for adults during primetime television. grow up people and start teaching your own kids right and wrong and stop relying on Seinfeld to teach them.

    Comment by John -

  16. you. know.
    The more I read Mark’s thoughts on things the less I come to like the guy….

    How can a responsible Parent really think that way? My kid aint going to that house anytime soon…

    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  17. David.
    Thanks for your insight and response. However I do believe PUBLIC broadcasting should have appropriate viewing for all age groups.. I dont mind “pay” broadcasting airing adult viewing.. but my local televison station is a different story..

    I guess we just have a different Value belief.

    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  18. I don’t think that the FCC needs to get involve. The viewers can decide for themselves.

    If we don’t like what we see, write to the network & the sponsors. If they do it again, don’t watch it or support the sponsors. If the majority of the people do this then the network will be forced to listen to the majority. That is the way of democracy.

    Look at the case of Whoopi Goldberg. She made some bad comments about our President. People put pressures on her sponsors. Slim-Fast dropped her contracts. I heard that she is having a hard time finding sponsorship lately.

    This is the best way to make our voice heard. No violence and no freedom of speech restrictions.

    Houston, TX

    Comment by Kate -

  19. No. 34 Sean — hilarious take! Right On!

    While I don’t think the clip was cool…I have a young daughter, who I don’t mind if she watches football, but I don’t want to give her any ideas about jumping naked into the arms of the football player…we *are* too hung up on stuff like this.

    By the way, if you ever have a chance to see a Mavericks game in Dallas, check out the “Mavs Dancers.” These women are *very* attractive but a lot of the times it looks like their outfits were designed for strippers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se, but I know a lot of kids go to the games, and there’s a whole lot of skin.

    That said…don’t change those Mavs Dancer unis, Mark!

    Comment by Bruce Castleberry -

  20. Since when did this country become so damn sensitive? We flock to decrepid displays like the OJ and Scott Peterson trials. Our top rated shows on TV are reality shows which more often than not belitte people for their shortcomings.

    Morals? Please. This whole mess started with the flash of a pasty covered boob. What about the children? Please, the tops albums in the country are the ones that have more cursing and violent images in them than any prime time sitcom. The kids are more in the know about sex and violence than their parents ever were.

    The whole MNF deal was to promote another show. And whether or not you believe that it was racist (per Tony Dungy…dont know where he got that), or immoral (versus other shows about single women who sleep around, or crime scene shows which have graphic depictions of killings), it doesnt matter. It was all about promotion. And the only reason the NFL backtracked is becuase they panicked – again.

    I dont want to see Janet Jacksons boob, but I want to see Britney spears wear nothing but glitter (well I do actually). I dont want to see a woman dropping a towel, but hey look at those cheerleaders in their skimpy outfits showing their chests to the cameras.

    The same country who cries about morality is the one who downloads pictures of Tara Reid on the red carpet. The same country who whines about a lady who drops a towel so you can see her back, then watches a three hour slugfest where guys whip the crap out of each other.

    Sometimes I wish this country would get the stick out of its you know what. Let me parent my own kids, decide what I want to let them watch, and lecture them about things that I want to lecture them about.

    And another thing…whats more offensive, a lady dropping a towel, or not showing a movie about the greatest generation and the sacrifices they went through to give us our “freedom?”

    To me THAT was wrong.

    Comment by Dan -

  21. oh yeah … The Dairy Queen Apologevent. Great stuff.

    Comment by lance anderson -

  22. Please join me in a bipartisan initiative to encourage America to take the stick out of its ass and for the FCC to shut the hell up. Here is what you can do:

    – Subscribe to HBO or Sirius.
    – Appear naked in public.
    – Buy beer or tickets to an R movie for an seventeen-year-old. C’mon, they can handle a Keystone Light and “Seed of Chucky.”
    – Use fucking profanity in your fucking blog.
    – Realize that if you are the sort of person who writes letters about something like the Nicollette Sheridan film clip, that you are just creating more news articles about “Dangerous Housewives” and making some network exec clap for glee. If you have to be a prude, at least don’t also be a tool.
    – Buy online porn with your credit card. Oh yeah, that shit is tracked. Didn’t know that did you?
    – Grow a mustache.

    Comment by Sean -

  23. Mark
    I’m disappointed by your accusation against those of us who spoke out against the MNFootball garbage. My family and I watch very little TV, network or otherwise, and that’s exactly why. Up till now, football has been relatively safe, other than the skanky cheerleader outfits. But now, apparently, for those of us seeking to live in purity, that’s no longer safe either. It’s amazing to me how some else’s rights to filth and trash automatically trump my rights to not have it splash on me. Why is that? Why can’t I watch Monday Night Football without having the network force feed me their garbage? Why can’t I expect a sense of decency from a national network? Why can’t I expect propriety? Why does another desire to see trashy wenches shamelessly throw themselves on men trump my right to a night of football? Why am I ridiculed as a “Bible thumper” for feeling so strongly and using my rights of free speech to speak out against it?

    Comment by Darin Wood -

  24. Thing is, Mark has been an expert at this technique for years! I challenge any casual sports fan to name more than 3 or 5 NBA owners- you’ll get your home team (maybe), Mark Cuban, and maybe the Maloofs. I learned of Cuban because of his fines gaining attention and the goofy things he did (coming on the court, etc). He’s gained national attention by getting himself in trouble, and it’s working wonders for him- his team is now among the most popular in the league, he landed his own tv show (production quality notwithstanding), and he continues to rake in the money hand over fist. These things don’t happen if he sits in an owners box for 5 games a year and leaves his coach or GM to be the face of the front office.

    The Dairy Queen incident might be the greatest example of an Apologevent on record.

    Comment by Josh -

  25. Mike Verinder,

    I think additional funding for the FCC would be a day late and a dollar short – sounds like you ALREADY “have serious issues”… ~_^

    Comment by Alex -

  26. It must be tiring to have to deal with so many people who don’t understand sarcasm… XD

    Comment by Alex -

  27. Hilarious! Makes you wonder if there’s a television division of the Trilateral Commission. F–kin’ good writing.

    Comment by Greg Yunker -

  28. Mike Verinder — You are absolutely right that “everything isn’t appropriate for a very young child.” An example of something that isn’t appropriate for a very young child is television, or at least most television. If you don’t have time to read to your son or to play outside with him, then perhaps a little Sesame Street or Spongebob Squarepants won’t hurt him, and I’d agree that the word “fuck” shouldn’t appear on Sesame Street or Spongebob Squarepants.

    However, in general, the answer is not censorship of adult television but rather is parental involvement. If you want to preserve your son’s innocence a while longer (you can’t do it indefinitely — even children who go to conservative private religious schools learn the word “fuck”), keep him away from television.

    Comment by David Lauri -

  29. Mr Cuban, and alla youse other mugs,

    So ABC pushed the edge a bit and got called on it, okay, fine. An acknowledgement that exactly that happened would be acceptable, but what are we getting instead? Waffling, whining and weaseling that amounts to even more free publicity.

    The broadcast networks have been suffering the death of a thousand cuts for several decades now and I can see how they’d feel that they have to compete in kind against the subscriber networks in order to survive. I have my suspicions that the so-called golden demographic of 18-34 yr olds is pandered to by an advertising industry that is also part of that demographic which is ultimately providing content of the sort that they want to see themselves.

    Unfortunately, since the broadcast spectrum is held to be a public commons in this country which the various users are granted temporary licenses to exploit, they are necessarily held to be accountable to the public more so than subscriber networks where the viewing public chooses to pay to play.

    When I establish boundaries for my child’s behaviour I’m not surprised to see him try to get as close as he can to that boundary and then push to discover exceptions. Occasionally, I’ll have to point out that a line has been crossed and issue a course correction. Waffling, whining and weaseling will cause more emphatic correction while acceptance of responsibility for his actions will moderate the correction(s).

    I would not be surprised to see in a decade or so that the broadcast media migrate to a subscriber-based model since they are so obviously chafing under their current paradigm.

    Comment by JSAllison -

  30. I thought the same thing about the event/coverage. ABC has got to be saying… “GO ahead, fine me!” 500k for this kind of advertising is WELL worth it.

    Comment by Jerad Brown -

  31. Mark,

    I want to say that you sum up my thoughts perfectly. I also think that there is an additional standard beyond curse words and nudity. It’s violence.

    No one bats an eye that an un-edited version of Saving Private Ryan appears in prime time. But show some FAKE nudity and everyone is up in arms. It’s insane…

    Quite frankly I think we should be able to show anything, and people can choose to turn the station. The fact that sexuality is demonized while violence is glorified drives me nuts…

    Thanks for a great column!


    Comment by Greyhawk68 -

  32. Great post Mark! I work in radio and we use the term “radio by apology” for stuff we know we may have to own up to later on if it goes wrong.

    Comment by That Guy -

  33. Perfect summation of the rediculousness of this whole ordeal (and the Janet Jackson Boob Flash). Sometimes it seems like this is becoming the Puritan States of America. What next, we gonna bring back Prohibition?

    But hey, instead of fake naked or fake cursewords, we can just change the channel to a movie about Things Fake Blowing Up and People Fake Dieing. Because that’s okay. Naked people? Cursing? BAD. Death? GOOD.

    Perfect summation of American culture.

    Comment by Jason (Go Pacers) -

  34. There should be no question in anyone’s mind why you’re making the big bucks! Marketing is brilliant and I love the psychology of it all. Like they say any publicity is good publicity. I say keep bucking the system!

    Comment by Dana -

  35. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. Ever since reading Daniel Price’s “Slick: A Novel” ( ) I’ve become even more skeptical of what I see on the news.

    I ask, “Who does this story really benefit?” and I leave answering this simple question to the reader.

    Comment by The Comedian -

  36. Thanks Mark, that is hilarious!!

    Comment by Mike -

  37. Mark,

    Are you telling me that you needed your parents to get you excited about half naked women as a youngster? I recall a more primal reaction that had nothing to do with my parents, and perhaps that’s the root of audience objection.

    Let’s hear you state one example of an unacceptable boundary being pushed on over-the-air TV. No cop outs Mark, we’re not talking racially, sexually only.

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    Comment by Jim from New Jersey -

  38. not sure i really agree with your posts Mark.
    I think Broadcasters have been over the edge for a number of years now.. I have a son.. and If he ever “picked” up the “f” word on a show.. I think I would have some serious issues.
    Or definately the “superbowl” event.. that was just ridiculas.
    So.. Mark.
    I would financially back initiatives that were helping the FCC legislate and fine those blantant violations. You just need to understand what should and shouldnt be on public TV and understand.. everything isnt appropriate for a very young child.

    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  39. Mark,
    No ass kissin’ here. Your genius is unparalleled.

    There has always been a double standard in which media outlets were able to do what they want and play the Britney card after the fact. (Oops! We did it again!)

    I made a post about the SPR airing on ABC affiliates on my blog last week, and pointed out how just a few years ago, NBC (I think?) ran Schindler’s List unedited and uninterrupted (sponsored by GM?) because it was “important.” Possibly because it reminded viewers about the horrors of WWII, and the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime during the Third Reich. It was also a reminder about people, and the importance of life. I have yet to see Liam Neeson or Ben Kingsley in roles I feel were half as good as the ones they did in this film.

    Now we shun a viewing of SPR because of the content? Well, look at the context. Duh. What better way to honor the veterans of our country, who have fought and died to protect the freedoms we are trying to force on the rest of the world, than to implement censorship in their honor? Last time I checked, we still had the right to change the channel…

    Comment by Troy Overton -

  40. Mark,
    No ass kissin’ here. Your genius is unparalleled.

    There has always been a double standard in which media outlets were able to do what they want and play the Britney card after the fact. (Oops! We did it again!)

    I made a post about the SPR airing on ABC affiliates on my blog last week, and pointed out how just a few years ago, NBC (I think?) ran Schindler’s List unedited and uninterrupted (sponsored by GM?) because it was “important.” Possibly because it reminded viewers about the horrors of WWII, and the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime during the Third Reich. It was also a reminder about people, and the importance of life. I have yet to see Liam Neeson or Ben Kingsley in roles I feel were half as good as the ones they did in this film.

    Now we shun a viewing of SPR because of the content? Well, look at the context. Duh. What better way to honor the veterans of our country, who have fought and died to protect the freedoms we are trying to force on the rest of the world, than to implement censorship in their honor? Last time I checked, we still had the right to change the channel…

    Comment by Troy Overton -

  41. Mark,
    It’s the pesky first ammendment ,RIGHT? Let us not forget our old time bud BF or as in the old days,Benjamine Franklin once said.Any man who would give up even the smallest freedom for a loaf of bread deserves neither freedom nor bread.Last but not least.Water seeks it’s own level.
    Happy Trails,LF

    Comment by Lee F -

  42. The arguement that the FCC is just operating to save the country’s family values is such a tired defense of the commissions existence. It is simply a commission headed by a daddy’s boy who is followed by the most out of touch Americans they could find. If you think kids only learn foul language from tv and radio, you obviously haven’t seen what goes on elementary and middle schools these days. The FCC is all about witch hunts and overreactions.

    Comment by Matt -

  43. Kevin, you must be new here. Mark’s posts usually get grammatically cleaned up over the course of the day. 🙂

    I’m glad he posts as soon as he has something to say and doesn’t wait until it’s been sanitized. This post is highly relevant and insightful commentary that is simply not PC enough to make it into mainstream media. The coining of the term “apologevent” is superb.

    Comment by Alex Harden -

  44. This is the one issue that gives me tired head the most. On the one hand I understand the value of family morals. On the other hand, is it the government’s responsibility (obligation?) to govern what the American family should and should not see? The cynic in me agrees with you, Mark, that ABC did this intentionally, knowing that the FCC (or the public) would over react and therefore create even more hype for their product.
    I’d also like to point out that this promo ran before a football game. Football, in case you haven’t noticed is the most violent, and hence the most popular, sport in the United States. More violent than boxing in my opinion. The only reason that people allow their kids to watch is that the players are perceived to be protected from injury or death by pads and other protection. Just more hypocrisy for the fire.

    Comment by Andy -

  45. mark, another f’ing great blog…this FFC S is getting out of control! stop cursing in your mind people! hey it has gotten way out of control but what hasnt; music, cable tv, movies, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS entertainment as a whole….you cant protect your kids forever; the sooner you educate them the better off they are. maybe the parents just dont want the pressure of having to explain certain situations to their kids; they rather protect them as long as possible even though kids usually get their first glimpse of nudity & curse words in elementary school. should we cut back on some of the scenes on TV now; probably….will that happen; probably not. just try to filter where you can but dont expect that they wont see it. if kid is watching the george lopez show, how many desperate housewives promos will they see? & we all know those a little sexual, do you think kids dont hear the curse words from ball players that the mics sometimes pick up? its everywhere, and dont let them sit courtside, you dont hear anything there either….(well i wouldnt know i haven sat there -hint for mark there-) but i have heard the stories….well thats it for now, need to get back to f’ing work!

    Comment by Luis -

  46. Mark,
    I think you’ve got tremendous business skill because you use something most other execs don’t. You use common sense. I enjoy reading your blogs and feel its refreshing to see eye to eye with a celebrity. However, I don’t like this idea of apologevents. The media already floods the airwaves with “shock and awe” everyday. From video clips on the news and tv shows to “reality” tv of people eating rats. If your idea is just to ruffle the feathers of tv viewers, that’s the way to go but I don’t understand your reasoning for this idea.

    Comment by Nick -

  47. Mark,

    I am a fan (of Mavericks basketball, and of you as an owner) and a first-time reader of your blog. I think this is great. You have captured the essence of the issues out there and have eloquently, but succinctly communicated them in a way that John Q. Public can understand them. It is an easy thing to persuade simpletons to your side. All you have to do is sensationalize the issues; dumb them down, if you will. It is a more difficult thing to conceptualize the real issues out there and persuade the thinking public to your view. You have done that. You are insightful, realistic, and informative. I will be reading your blog on a regular basis. Here’s to the next time!
    – Jason

    Comment by Jason Hunter -

  48. Mark, you couldn’t be more right. I’ve always found myself wondering what the difference between substituting a word for a swear and actually swearing is. You KNOW the intention of the speaker, so why cover it up?

    And imagine, all this hype about fake naked women and breasts popping out, etc., being so indecent, yet it’s okay to show people violently getting killed (we are in a war, right?), or having the front page of your local newspaper (I’m from Boston) show a college student bleeding from her eye and nose, dead, on the sidewalk because a cop shot her in the face with a pepper spray gun (think paintball gun).

    Just found your blog today, you’ve gained a new reader! Look forward to your comments on the next apologevent, whenever it may be.


    Comment by Jason -

  49. Mark,
    You’re a rich guy… learn to use your spellcheck, or at least when to use apostrophes. Please?

    Comment by Kevin Horner -

  50. The Apologevent also has the effect of diverting attention from real news and issues. It sure helped Janet Jackson get another fifteen minutes, too.

    BTW, I read an interesting commentary on the reality of what can constitute “public backlash” this week at:

    It’s quite interesting and a little scary…

    Comment by Susan F. Heywood -

  51. Love the ‘persnickety word! I believe I used it last year. The only word better would be Apologevent. What a great word! What a great idea! 🙂

    Never heard of you (sorry) until Benefactor. Loved the show btw. Not a sports fan, yet find myself watching scores for the Mavs….telling my son the stats and getting these strange looks….hahaha Watching the Benefactor I thought how smart you were, and love your humor! (and so much better than that wig man) 🙂 Look forward to reading more of your blogs.

    I am Canadian! (is that a good thing?)

    Comment by vonna -

  52. For one Jackson I hope you are being sarcastic. Because if you are not you are very uneducated person . He is not Accusing the Fcc for purely trying to make money, he is just pointing out how they will let somethings get totaly hiped up and how it is a great marketing tool for all T.V shows newspapers etc, and ya I bet they make a ton of money. Oh my god nakedness is such a crime, arn’t we all born naked? The body is such a beautiful thing lets be like europe were its not a shocking thing to see a womans nipple. I’m sure god won’t mind us being naked once in awhile or else he would have glued clothes on us. And Jackson if you think there trying to be morale. There are teen idols such as Brittany spears, Cristina Aqularia out there in Videos simulating sex positions, and sing about sex and are “fake naked”. So if you truly believe they are being 100 % morale check out some Videos, or some magazines out there. fcc is definety hyprotical. One more thing Sex and Nudity and a little cursing aren’t the worst things our children will witness in there young life. what about watching some news were you can see some one lying there dead. Or a child with blood all over there bodies crying. If people don’t want there children to see “fake naked ar naked people don’t let them watch there programs it is the parent responsiblty.

    Comment by d.b -

  53. Give me a break. Paris Hilton loves all the attention she is getting. Just look at Nicole Richie as an example that you can avoid the spot light a little better than Paris does. I mean what exactly has she done to become famous besides making sex tapes and being a party girl. I can’t think of anything else. And she brings a lot of that scruntiny on herself by being a … I’m not even going to go there.

    Comment by Rod H -

  54. How much would ABC have to have paid to get all the attention Desperate Housewives is getting right now?

    They did nothing wrong in what they did, if anything they saved millions upons millions of dollars, shrewd money-management there.

    I hear they’re going to show the Howie Long/Teri Hatcher sex tape on next Sunday’s FOX NFL Pregame Show…

    Comment by SeedyV -

  55. I am shocked and appalled that you are accusing the FCC of purely trying to make money when it is clear to anyone with half a brain that they clearly are ONLY concerned with American morality and making sure that our children don’t grow up to be cursing and, God forbid, naked. I mean, do you think Paris Hilton really wants all the attention she gets?? Come on, out of all people Mark, I would expect you, a celebrity, to understand just how hard her life is with all the scrutiny she and others are forced to live under.

    Comment by Jackson -

  56. Mark,

    Are you referring to something specific in this post. I’d swear you were, but I just can’t seem to figure it out. Anyways did anyone catch that opening to Monday Night Football last night?

    Comment by Earl -

  57. I guess some people from Detroit and Indiana couldn’t act fast enough to execute your theory about apologevents… 😉

    Comment by Elias -

  58. Unfortunately, since the broadcast spectrum is held to be a public commons in this country which the various users are granted temporary licenses to exploit, they are necessarily held to be accountable to the public more so than subscriber networks where the viewing public chooses to pay to play.

    Comment by runescape money -

  59. The broadcast networks have been suffering the death of a thousand cuts for several decades now and I can see how they’d feel that they have to compete in kind against the subscriber networks in order to survive. I have my suspicions that the so-called golden demographic of 18-34 yr olds is pandered to by an advertising industry that is also part of that demographic which is ultimately providing content of the sort that they want to see themselves.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  60. the world is small

    Comment by lyrics -

  61. I was just curious to know from those that have children and are offended by cursing on television:
    Do you not see any harm in the violance displayed? or how about the hundreds of beer commercials your children see during football games? maybe movies containing drug use should be banned…maybe women in bikinis shouldn’t be allowed on TV…or the realities of life on the news. When would you like me to stop? I could make an arguement for everything…oh Fred and Barney Rubble are gay cause they don’t wear pants. Oh wait they have wives. Spongebob because his friend is pink? Oh please, like a child would comprehend it even if it were true.

    Really though, what would you allow on TV I am just wondering, cause everything I see on TV has some sort of arguement against it.

    Please share with me your comments and views, and any other PC issues you have views in.
    just put blogmaverick in your subject box, I am working on creating a blog of my own for these issues soon.

    Comment by Chris -

  62. Mark,
    The first time I met you was at Reunion, shortly after you bought the Mavs. You did that free party in the tent after the games thing. I had a feeling you would be good for Dallas.
    Thank you for showing us that you can own a team and care more about the fans, the players and the games then the almight dollar.
    Your love for your team and your fans is great and I can’t wait until my 10 month old is old enough to take to the games.

    Comment by Larry Swinea -

  63. Mr. Cuban:
    Awesome website, sir. Believe you are spot on about the FCC. I’m a Marine and a liberal/Democrat that is undone by the horrible policies (domestic and foreign) of the current Administration. My blog is at It’s really good to see liberals and progressives taking the GOP on and going head to head with those conservative jokers. Again, great site. Semper Fidelis

    Comment by MarineLiberal1775 -

  64. brawo. 🙂

    Comment by cons -

  65. yeah besttt.

    Comment by cons -

  66. Marc,

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to discover that you have finally given this phenomena a name; armed with a name, and a success record in the almighty US market, I just may be able to convice my clients that this type of guerilla marketing is brilliant when working with limited budgets.

    As a father, watching the game with my son, I was appalled, disgusted at the site of a breast, and was very relieved to be able to quickly flick to CNN and calm him down to the sights and sounds of the Iraq war…

    Comment by Matt Ross -

  67. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the ludity and crudity of the nudity at our business Web site in a vile attempt to attract the FCC so that we might be forced to apologize to the entire world. It is uncalled for, a partial wardrobe error, and we’re very sorry to you the viewing community and to our ten thousand existing customers and when we have shareholders, we’ll be VERY sorry to them as well.

    Comment by Rob Thrasher -

  68. I listen to Howard Stern.
    He hates FCC, and so do I.
    What is wrong with seeing a brest?
    They show it in Europe. Brazil likes brest.
    Children nurse on brest.
    It’s not that big a deal, FCC needs to relax or go away.


    Comment by Vic -

  69. “persnickety” <--good word "venerable miasma" <--try using those great words in a sentence to describe the rampant double standards I'm perusing here ("perusing" another good word). It's going to exist so get over it. Parents could use these times as learning opportunities with their children if they choose instead of getting all "persnickety" about it...but then again, I'm a naked swearing Canadian...

    Comment by Carrie -

  70. All kidding aside, I do think the skit before MNF was inappropriate. Not because it was as indecent as everyone seems to make out (please… I’ve seen more skin–and more action–at 3pm on Lifetime!), but because it was inappropriate in the CONTEXT. If people gather to watch football, they shouldn’t have to see nudity and sex. If they gather to watch an adult-themed movie, then yes, bring on the nudity and sex. That skit would have been fine on Saturday Night Live, but it really wasn’t appropriate for football. It didn’t personally offend me, but I can see how some people who sat down to watch a sporting event with their kids were blindsided by it and got upset.

    That being said, it’s then also time to remove the sexuality of the cheerleaders and the ads if you are going to insist that the Desperate Housewives skit–also a half-naked female cavorting with a male–was inappropriate for football. You can’t have it both ways. It’s either remove all the sex or remove none of it. And if the stripper-like cheerleaders and puerile beer ads are considered by the same offended folks to be acceptable family entertainment, then they shouldn’t have a problem with TO and Nicollette Sheridan cavorting either. Make up your minds, people.

    Comment by Laurie -

  71. Cuban, you are an f’ing genius.

    Comment by Laurie -

  72. Hi Mark, I just joined your readership. Just wanted to say that this is probably the best and most hilarious blog entry I’ve come across in a long time. I’ll remember the concept of the Apologevent forever, I guess. Good observation skills!


    Comment by Udo Schroeter -

  73. I’m curious to know your opinion on the Ron Artest et al brawl…. any thoughts, Mark?

    Comment by Clover -

  74. Bravo.

    Gee, you don’t think they really do that though?


    Comment by Drew Olanoff -

Comments are closed.