After Trump 'S***hole' Remark, Networks Struggle With Reporting a Vulgar Presidential Quote
The vulgar word said by the president about immigrants from African nations and Haiti this week has suddenly appeared all over television.
Networks are grappling with a real dilemma on how to report the president's use of the swear word.
Trump made the shocking remark Thursday during a bi-partisan meeting on immigration at The White House.
On CNN, they began using the word in their chyrons, and anchors like Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper and Don Lemon all said it on air.
On CBS News, the word was bleeped out. The Today show called it “s-hole.”
On MSNBC, it was written out as “s***hole” on lower thirds, but the actual unedited word was used on social media platforms like Twitter.
Trump issued a kind of non-denial denial when he took to Twitter on Friday.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” he said.
But Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who also attended the meeting, told reporters: “That’s what he said. The exact word used by the president. S***holes.”
On ABC, George Stephanopoulos said he believed his viewers should hear the word.
“We’re not reporting the word right now," he said Friday on Good Morning America. "I think that’s probably a mistake... I don't think it's right to censor the president or sugarcoat the racist sentiment revealed.”
“It is kind of an extraordinary moment when we have to caution viewers about language that the president apparently said in the Oval Office,” Chris Wallace said on Fox News.
"You can’t talk in broad strokes about people in a disparaging way and expect people to say, ‘Well, that is just him,’ and, ‘You know he is not racist," Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said on the show Friday.
Howie Kurtz, the host of Fox News’ Media Buzz, discussed his decision on the word.
"It is absolutely extraordinary because I never thought I would read the word in The New York Times or The Washington Post, or hear it on CNN or MSNBC repeatedly," he told Inside Edition.
The FCC has reportedly received just a "handful” complaints from viewers who are upset at hearing the vulgarity, according to Variety.
"I am sure some viewers are offended at hearing it again and again and again," Kurtz added. "They don’t usually turn on the TV and hear ‘s***hole.’ On the other hand, I think some viewers appreciate we are not censoring it or dancing around it."
In a touch of irony lost on no one, the president commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Friday at the White House where, reporters shouted questions at home, including CNN's April D. Ryan, who asked the president outright, "Are you a racist?"
The president had nothing to say to reporters, even when some asked whether he would apologize.