CBS criticized for failing to bleep Flacco F-bomb


As Joe Flacco celebrated on the field after the Ravens won the Super Bowl, he yelled to a teammate, “This is f–king awesome.” Unfortunately, the CBS microphones picked up the F-bomb and broadcast it to 100 million or so people who were watching.

That has CBS taking criticism from the Parents Television Council.

“No one should be surprised that a jubilant quarterback might use profane language while celebrating a career-defining win, but that is precisely the reason why CBS should have taken precautions,” PTC President Tim Winter said in a statement, via “Joe Flacco’s use of the F-word, while understandable, does not absolve CBS of its legal obligation to prevent profane language from being broadcast — especially during something as uniquely pervasive as the Super Bowl.”

Obviously, the folks at CBS wish they had been able to catch the F-bomb in time to bleep it, but sometimes during a live event, a swear word slips through. The Parents Television Council is comparing the Flacco F-bomb to the Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, but just because everyone overreacted to that incident doesn’t mean we need another round of overreactions to Flacco’s naughty word.

122 responses to “CBS criticized for failing to bleep Flacco F-bomb

  1. It’s just a word. Get used to it, kids. You’re going to hear a bunch more of those words as you grow into an adult.

  2. Seriously, the Parents Television Council needs to find something to do with their time, as they clearly have too much. A live event, not everything can be bleeped. Your kids here the same stuff everyday on the playground. And it was late enough that most kids should have been in bed for school the next day.

  3. so how many impressionable youngsters were awake at 11:00 to hear it. if they were the parents have bigger problems.

  4. The irony is that the uncensored expression of Flacco’s post-victory jubilation was probably the best and most honest part of CBS’s broadcast.

  5. I truly think that if we can clean up all the dirty language on television, the world will be cured of all its ills. It’s clearly the root of all our issues. Let’s spend a lot of time worrying about this!

  6. Come on CBS!

    This country, obviously, with its morality and character cannot handle a random F-Bomb.

    Leave that for the NFL’s mic’d up version of SuperBowl XLVII presents “Hardest Hits” DVD

  7. Do people really get that offended over a “bad” word. I’m pretty every person in to world would have said the exact same thing if you just won the Super Bowl and MVP. By the way, I hate flacco

  8. I’m pretty sure any “kids” up that late on a school night have heard plenty of F-bombs and probably seen much worse.

  9. They should be criticized for failing to go away from the Colin Kapernick is the second coming script after being blown out in the first half. Ravens – World Champions. Cheers!

  10. This is ridiculous this society is filled with sensitive ppl if ur afraid ur gonna catch something then dont watch the game an dont have ur snot nose kids watch it either.

  11. Swear words only have as much power as you’re willing to give them.
    It really shouldn’t be a big deal considering it is young people who actually say them the most.

  12. OMG people heard the f bomb on tv. What will the world do now? I guess now I’ll leave work and turn to a life of crime because I heard a curse word during the Super Bowl.

  13. i agree with flacco it was a f-king awesome game and the greatest moment of his career. he was just so happy and im sure other players were saying the same kind of things hes just unlucky its not like he said it while being interviewed.

  14. The Parents Television Council is comparing the Flacco F-bomb to the Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, but just because everyone overreacted to that incident doesn’t mean we need another round of overreactions to Flacco’s naughty word.
    You think we overreacted to a famous performer flashing her nipple on national television to billions of people during the most-watched television event of the year? I’d say that was a pretty big deal.

  15. It was a stupid thing to do by Flacco,using foul language when he knew the cameras and sound were taking everything in that game,its just on par for the NFL to not fine him heavily for his words but to fine players for having a shirt not tucked in.

  16. Get over it PTC. There are bigger issues in the world then someone hearing an F-bomb. Educate your own kids on what’s right and wrong

  17. The game finished at what, about 11pm? If the complainants can show me the child that is able to stay awake until that late and yet has never ever heard a swear word, then fair enough. Otherwise, just shush.

  18. “Parents Television Council”? This really exists? These people need to get a life. You don’t think your kids hear ‘naughty’ words everyday out in the real world?

    These are the same types of people who won’t let their kids go outside because they’re afraid they’ll catch a cold.

    If you just sealed-up a 20 million dollar contract, you’d be dropping f-bombs in jubilation too.

  19. Seriously? Comparing it to the wardrobe malfunction? First of all, most of us didn’t hear the F-bomb, secondly, we have heard it before in moments of excitement, especially. Thirdly, 95% of America saw the “wardrobe malfunction” AFTERWARDS on the internet and not on actual live TV. Actually, the malfunction lasted a split second longer than the f-bomb did, hardly even two seconds.

    America, the land of the sheltered kid that the parent doesn’t realize that the kid isn’t sheltered at all. The land where kids search the internet and find pictures that show that their teacher did adult videos and get the teacher fired, and nobody says “WTH were the kids doing searching the net for adult videos in the first place?”


  20. How is this even remotely comparable to the “wardrobe malfunction”? It’s not like Flacco said the f- word while giving his MVP speech! My lord I feel sorry for the kids of these parents, and in 10 years the parents of these kids, because they are going to do way worse than say the f bomb when they just had a career defining moment. Just saying.

  21. Is CBS supposed to bleep that out? YES.

    Is CBS at fault for screwing up? YES.

    Should this be compared to Janet Jackson and the “Wardrobe Malfunction?” I don’t think so haha.

    Let’s just put it behind us haha

  22. I’m sure this wasn’t the first time that anyone watching has heard that word and I guarantee that it won’t be the last. And if it was the first time, how did they know to be offended by it anyway?

    Funny thing about that word – no one has died or been irreparably damaged from hearing it or using it in the history of the world, so it must not be that bad. The only damage that will come out of this instance is if we let the PTC run our lives and tell us what we can or can’t see, can or can’t hear and can or can’t think.

  23. They complain about that while they have no problem with the overt sexual innuendo in many of the commercials. Some people just love to stand on their soapbox screaming “look at me”

  24. The Parents Television Council has a handful of members but is responsible for over 98% of all complaints to the FCC. I love how a single special interest organization gets to speak on all our behalves.

  25. I don’t get how these 8-10 morons in the PTC are given a voice or who is telling them they’re doing a good job? It’s a friggin word that would have gotten next to no recognition and would have been forgotten by 99% of the population that heard it if not for these dopes telling us over and over how bad it was that it happened. NO ONE CARES. My kids didn’t hear it but I know for a fact they would have giggled and gone to bed the same kid they were before Joe uttered that devil word in public…this could not be more of a non-issue.

  26. The fact that this incident is a big deal is dumb, but we should stop saying the game ended at 11 PM as if the whole country runs on the Eastern Time Zone.

  27. For those who say any parent who has a kid up at 11 has bigger problems….I say, not everyone lives on the east coast. I would wager that most fans of one of the teams lives on the west coast, where it was significantly earlier in the day. If I were the parent of a 49er fan, of course I would have let my child stay up and watch that game.

    And yeah, it’s just a word. But it’s something that has no business being broadcast, and is EASILY avoidable by introducing a ten second delay to the feed. It’s an incremental issue among many bigger problems the world has. But still, easily corrected.

    I wasn’t offended by it, but if my kids were watching I would not have been happy about it. A chance to provide a lesson, maybe.

  28. They should be criticized for failing to go away from the Colin Kapernick is the second coming script after being blown out in the first half. Ravens – World Champions. Cheers!

    This type of fan boy comment and that of Flacco reflects society’s gradual acceptance of using the first word in their less than extensive vocabulary…our values as a nation are slipping as is our respect for each other.

  29. America is such a prudish country its laughable what a lot of people here waste their time complaining about.

    We have much bigger problems to worry about.

  30. People need to get off their high horses and quit being so politically correct. It’s too bad that a common word, vulgar or not, had to make it on to the T.V broadcast. Deal with it though, it’s not going to ruin any lives or childhoods.

  31. And here I thought the football broadcasts ran a seven second delay after the Jackson issue. Guess not. That said…PTC, look up “excited utterance”. You’ll see why CBS probably won’t get dinged for this.

  32. We need to protect our children from people like Joe Flacco who use profanity while celebrating a joyous event. This is the kind of thing that tears at the fabric of society and can ruin a child’s upbringing.

    What a joke!

  33. It figures, the one time Flacco shows some genuine emotion a bunch of old women get their panties in a bunch.

    I think it served as a great lesson for when such language is appropriate.

  34. Has the council looked at recorded TV recently? This was a live presentation and Flacco was excited, after all he just did what every nay saying critic said would never happen. Get over it, the kids have probably heard the same from their parents mouths.

  35. Not real concerned about this particular issue, as it was live tv and those things happen. He had no idea a live mike was directly behind him.

    The bigger issue is the tragedy that we, as an educated culture, cannot communicate without including this type of base language. Whether its doctors or lawyers, or parents at their kids’ sporting events, or just around the dinner table. The words themselves have as much power as we give them, yes. But have we lost the art and vocabulary of communication that every other word has to be cursing? That strikes me as the bigger issue.

  36. He’s from south NJ; that’s in pre-school spelling books around here! Language criticism is so retarded.

  37. I would have preferred that my nine year old not have heard Flacko drop the f-bomb. Still not the end of the world – just a teachable moment that some people are idiots. To the morons saying I’m a bad parent because my nine year old is up that late. It’s the Super Bowl you putz. It’s almost the equivalent of New Year’s Eve, so yeah my kid got to stay up late. Why don’t you mind your own business?

  38. C’mon people. The issue isn’t that anybody thinks that a child hearing has never heard it or will never hear it.

    It’s that CBS should have taken more precautions to avoid it, that’s all. End of discussion.

    Stop with this argument. YOU don’t use the F-Bomb in front of your young children on a daily basis just talking about something you’re happy about, and if you do, I feel sorry for your kids.

    So, let’s not make out like it’s a problem we try to keep SOME level of sanity in National broadcasts…

    At the same time, you’re right.. no need for some giant issue/censorship. CBS just should have been a little more careful on the delay, that’s all.

  39. “F” bomb? Gimme a break, once parents give their kids access to the Internet they’ve pretty much lost control over what they hear and see. Play a game of “Call of Duty” online and listen to the things that come out the mouths of 8 year old kids, makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with society.

  40. I’m irritated that CBS didn’t censor anything that came out of Phil Simms mouth. The best part of the broadcast was the power outage and we didn’t have to listen to his blabbering crap.

    Phil is no Joe Thiesmann but he’s getting close.

  41. The real issue is not hearing the F bomb on tv, but kids thinking whatever they see on TV is ok and try to emulate it, which ultimately leads to decay of society and then more shootings happen.

    And for the question of what kid is awake at 11pm, what about the kids on the west coast and around the world.

    the Parents group is not over sensitive, it is you who think they will loose their precious rights. Well rights without responsibility is worth loosing because that is the reason why we are at a point where there are so many people with mental issues and access to guns and other instruments to kill.

  42. Funny… I have seen a lot of people win the Super Bowl over the years and it hasn’t been an issue.

    Joe has some responsibility here, too.

  43. That’s nothing compared to what was said at my house after the missed PI call on the 49’ers last play.

  44. Ludicrous or not, an organization like these have to say something or what’s the point of their existence? Someone saying something inappropriate on tv on the biggest tv event of the year has to be their biggest stage of the year to get any widespread public recognition.

  45. These a-holes need to shut the f up. Stop trying to destroy live tv. A 10 second tape delay to bleep out “bad” words is egregiously offensive and runs completely counter to why we watch – to see raw emotions of the game we love

  46. It is comparable to the wardrobe malfunction in that our hysterical overreaction to both of them show what a bunch of super sensitive ninnies a depressingly large percentage of the american public are.

    Neither of them should have been a big deal. Seeing a woman’s breast for 2 seconds or hearing the F word is not going to turn your kid into a psychopath.

    Having overbearing, hysterical, holier than thou parents, however, just might.

  47. Not offended this aired but I am offended by select east coast jerkoffs who feel the world revolves around them.

  48. I heard it loud and clear, and laughed. If the media insists in being right in these guys faces at that moment, then this is what you’re going to get. He was just trying to enjoy the moment, so let him and get out of his face!

  49. The less said about it the better. CBS are not fools, they are loving this discourse and attention. That’s why the did don’t use a simple 7-second delay. Since there’s an uproar they need to be fined because it was such an obvious likelihood and totally preventable. Remember, millions of children watch the superbowl and a lot of them might just look up to an NFL QB as a role model… like it or not. Frankly, I don’t want my 10 year old dropping the F bomb to be cool like Joe Flacco.

  50. Tim Winter, Give it a rest. My kids spend Saturdays with their Grandma at the church hall and hear that word every time someone yells “Bingo!”.

  51. I’m reminded of being a yound lad in February of 2001, watching Tony Siragusa run/waddle out of the tunnel screaming “let’s f***ing do this s**t!!” on national television and I thought to myself… well nothing. I just watched the game and didn’t care about that word. Was I aware? Sure was. Did I use that lnaguage? No way, I would’ve been in serious trouble. But in the end? Had zero effect on me.

    Note to other parents: IT’S ONLY A BIG DEAL IF YOU MAKE IT A BIG DEAL!! If your kid asks what it means? It’s because they’ve heard it before and most likely already know and are testing you. And this happens nearly every year. If you have ever watched a live event on tv you should see this coming.

  52. If Comedy Central (by the way, also owned by Sumner Redstone…the same guy that owns CBS) can air unedited stand up specials that late at night, I really can’t see why this is a big deal.

    It’s up to us, as parents, to police what our children do and don’t hear (why were impressionable kids up that late anyway? Mine were in bed long before the end of the game) and to explain to them the context in which they are hearing things. Flacco just won the biggest game of his life. He’s allowed to celebrate. He shouldn’t need to censor himself just because there are cameras around, and CBS shouldn’t have to explain itself over airing what he said. Heat of the moment, someone didn’t hit the right button.

    It happens. Get over it. Kids are going to hear a lot worse.

  53. Gotta love it…It’s okay to show people getting shot, dismembered bodies and other violence on shows like CSI, but not okay for a person to drop the F-bomb, or show a boob with a pasty on it during a halftime show.

  54. Has anyone ever been on the field during a sporting event? Coached, played, etc.? If that is the only “swear” word that made it to a microphone, it’s a miracle.

  55. It could be worse parents. There could be people commenting on a sports website about your need to get a f—-ing life.

  56. as a parent of four kids under 6 I don’t care about the fleeting expletive on live tv around 11pm.

    As a parent of 4 kids under 6 I was highly offended by the Go Daddy commercials aired in the first half

  57. LOL are you serious they just won the Super Bowl and that one word was just what was caught on the mic i’m pretty sure it was allot more words being said. And people talk about kids hearing it, have they not seen some of these KID shows on TV now that you allow them to watch please

  58. Who here has never used that word in their life? Who’s teenage kids aren’t using the word when their parents aren’t around? It’s a football game and athletes swear. They missed one bleep out. It wasn’t used in a really negative way (there probably wouldn’t be a better way to describe what he was feeling actually). Viewers need to stop complaining about things that have absolutely no impact on them.

  59. PTC’s sole purpose of existence is to fret and be miserable about stuff that no one else cares a rat’s patooty about. they need to quit trying to stir up trouble. the only outrage i feel is toward people who troll through the american experience searching desperately for something to be outraged about.

  60. One of the things that you could teach your kids is that there are times when that word is very commonly used, and one of those times is in men’s locker rooms and on football fields while games are in progress or afterwards. I guarantee the word has come up between your little angels when you’re not around when one of his friends drops a pass, or commits an error. The teachable lesson is that there is a time for everything, when they’re with their teammates that word is OK, when they are talking to their teacher or grandma , it isn’t. In this case CBS, had a bunch of boom mics over a raucous postgame celebration after the biggest game of the year, so yeah, the word was probably going to come up. If they don’t want that stuff on the air, keep the mics away.

  61. One would think the Parents Television Council would be more concerned with that abomination of a halftime show more than the F word accidentally getting through the television censors. If children were exposed to anything negative at all, it was during halftime.

    It is seriously time for the NFL to either ditch Pepsi as the sponsor or force them to get better more family friendly acts from here on out. The past three halftime shows have been horrible at best. We’re exposed enough to that preteen pop garbage enough as it is. Then to turn it into a burlesque show? It was good for my eyes, but in no way family friendly and my ears were begging for it to stop it was so bad.

  62. the thing that media and athletes alike dotn realize is..even the fans cant stand the media..

    just bec its in the media and flying in papers and on internet doesnt mean the media speaks for the speaks for the media and creating drama. as a fan i cant stand the media unless its talking abotu something useful such as players stats, accompllishments and good things..not 100 jets stories a week when they have 2 wins

  63. If non-cussers didn’t make such a big deal of cussing, there kids wouldn’t even notice.

  64. Had this group of people not brought this up, 95% of those that watched the Superbowl wouldn’t be aware of it. And for the ten kids that may have heard it…..if you can’t explain it to them in a minute or two, then you really need to re-evaluate your parenting skills. No, it shouldn’t have been said or broadcast. But it was, so these people are just going to have to deal with it. I can see some $$$$ changing hands over this in the near future though.

  65. I’d be more concerned about my kids seeing that stripper they had on the halftime show.

  66. Him cursing was more exciting and insightful than whatever Nantz and Simms gave us.

    Flacco’s dullness is dying down while theirs continue!!!

  67. I cannot believe the puritanical attitude of some people. So what if Flacco was just “being human”? Get over it, People! Maybe next year the Super Bowl should be broadcast over HBO or SHOWTIME and nobody will think a thing of it if a stray word slips from a jubilant athlete’s mouth.

  68. Is this the same Parents Television Council that doesnt have an issue with wholesome television shows such as Keeping up with the Kartrashians?

  69. This would have never happened if it were Tim Tebow.. Why can’t we all be more like Tebow? Oh yeah we just watched the most violent sport, halftime was filled with half naked women dancing humping the air. But lets focus on the issue.. Bad words

  70. Thats what you risk putting on the sound down on the field. Its common sense that if you turn those mics on, on the sideline 10 times out of 10 you will catch a swear word.

  71. If im not mistaken, Joe Flacco was descibed early in the week as being “bland and boring” well… he fixed that! Good for you Joe, you just won the superbowl F’ bomb away, you have earned it!

  72. I’m not saying it is the biggest deal in the world, but if CBS has everything on 10 second tape delay or whatever, why wasn’t the F bomb bleeped? Sure, the Parents Television Council might overreact, but they do more harm than good with all the trash that passes for TV today.

  73. As an officer of the Parents Endorsing Safe Television (PEST) I must caution against shopping at Walmart with children as I heard the F-Bomb dropped twice while shopping there for a TV to watch the Super Bowl on in HD.

  74. Wow so boobs and f bombs are no good but guns and death are ok come on people have you seen the evening news that`s on at 6pm and this was on at 11pm

  75. The Parents Television Council is comparing the Flacco F-bomb to the Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction.

    Really? I’m not sure the word comparable is the word they want to use…

    So a word that many kids have heard their Parents or Elders say a bunch of times is the same as Janet Jackson’s big brown tit? My son may have heard an F-bomb or two in his young life, but I know he has not been exposed to nudity. The two are not even close. One is a word, which is usually forgotten, but you never forget seeing something like Janet’s old boob.

  76. Kids today will hear much worse from their friends, or family. My seventh grade football coach used every swear word in the book. And that was when he wasn’t angry. People need to stop babying kids these days!

  77. CBS had a questionable broadcast.

    In 40+ years of watching NFL on television, I have never heard the booth spotter on the air, but you clearly heard him say (to Nantz) “Reed is on the field,” which Nantz repeated a few seconds later – this after Reed had been shaken up and gone to the locker room.

    CBS also continued the annoying practice of immediately running into an end-zone celebration with a camera – I’ve seen players bump/crash into this camera all year, and someone is going to get hurt because the players don’t expect it.

    And Flacco’s F-bomb is nothing but the unnecessary use of field mics. The networks can’t claim it’s to give the viewer a feel of being at the stadium, because you sure can’t hear any of that while actually at the stadium.

  78. They should have criticized CBS for Bill Cowher’s stupid commentary during the power outage. Put Alex Smith in the game? Right Bill. Wise decision on not returning to the sidelines, Einstein.

  79. Maybe if parents are worried that their kids will hear aword they are gonna hear many times in their lives anyway, maybe a sport where guys knock the crap out of each other isn’t good either. Probably too much violence and they should just change the channel. Man someone always has to issue an opposition to something. So sick of it.

  80. What bothered me is that every commercial for a TV from CBS either had someone with a gun in it or someone half naked. When you’ve got young kids – its just crazy. And then the Go-Daddy spots etc are just over the top and dumb. So yes…I could care less about the F bomb – the constant violent and sexist images upsets me a lot more.

  81. Yeah, we worry about a passing harmless swear word that was pretty hard to hear and said in the heat of the moment, but yet I have to explain freaking Viagra commercials or what the hell LGBT is to my children because they are all over commercial and shows. Sick twisted weirdo society.

  82. They need focus more on blurring things rather than bleeping things. How many times have I seen a players ass crack because they can’t seem to tie their pants up tight enough to keep their pants above their crack. I seen a Cowboys player a few weeks ago get his britches completely pulled down and his entire ass was showing. Thats offensive because men are just gross and disgusting. How about getting these guys some belts or are we gonna wait till one of these guys completely exposes their wang and balls on national TV.

  83. Come on, be realistic! dude just reached pinnacle of his profession after years of coming so close and coming up short. Probably most emotional moment of his life, if you can’t understand that then I don’t want your “Morales” infecting me and my family.

  84. The real question is this. What kind of League or team mandated training will Flacco have to go to? If you say something, and someone complaines, you are required to go see some professionals to help you get over whatever it is you said.

  85. I’m not sure why anyone would criticize Flacco? I thought a 10 second tape delay was normal operating procedure after the”wardrobe malfunction” from a few years back… It’s not like some super-secret rule, that if you broadcast the f-bomb you’re station will get fined. This is completely CBS’s fault and no others.

  86. It was late so hopefully most kids were asleep. My 12 and 7 year olds were. Lets try to help them keep their innocence as long as they can. It doesn’t hurt to have standards guys!

  87. Oh right, of course, PTC! It’s everyone’s job to parent your child, except the actual parents! How could I have forgotten that part?

  88. For those who keep posting that the game ended at 11PM, that was on the east coast. That’s 8PM on the west coast where plenty of kids were still awake.

    That said, it’s still my job to teach my 8 year old proper use of language.

  89. As someone with an 8 year old and a 5 year old, I’d rather my kids hear an F-bomb that can be explained rather easily (He’s an adult, he makes choices you don’t get to make yet) than constantly having to flip the channel as CBS shows simulated dead bodies with holes in their temples in their endless and without warning promos of the CSI franchise. That requires either a lot more explanation, or most likely a flat out lie. (He was just sleeping honey!)

    Relax already…

  90. “listenup823 says: Feb 5, 2013 10:34 AM
    If I used it in a sentence that included your mother in it… It no longer becomes “just a word” does it.. Liberal idiots..”

    Newsflash to listenup823, the Parents Television Council is a very very CONSERVATIVE advocacy group. People with modern views are tolerant of others and language. The problem lies with people with conservative and archaic views who ruin TV watching and tolerance in society. They call themselves the party of values but are the biggest hypocrites around.

  91. You people have missed the point completely. This isn’t about whether or not kids should hear the word or not, whether Flacco was wrong for using the word or not or whether his use of the word is going to corrupt a child and scar them for life. This is simply about CBS’ responsibility to excercise a reasonable control over their broadcast.

    I’m sorry so many of you seem intent that the world would be a better place if people just used the “f” word more often, but for now it is not legal to do it. So, did CBS drop the ball, under those circumstances, by failing to take the simple, common, reasonable precaution of employing the 7-second delay.

    They failed to do that. They should have done that. Would’ve saved a lot of bandwidth.

  92. Good lord, I can’t even get all my non-profane posts approved on this site, yet _NBC_ is trying to bash CBS about a missed F-bomb?

    There’s blocking profanity and there’s censorship. This post probably won’t last long.

  93. Oh, good lord, grow up. Anyone who watches any televised sporting event knows you’re going to be exposed to foul language. Don’t like it? Don’t turn it on! No filtering mechanism in any setting is 100% effective. Ever.

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