The Democratic presidential contenders — some of whom have made headlines for using salty language — have been warned to steer clear of profanity during the upcoming primary debate, which will be hosted by ABC News.
The network, together with officials from the Democratic National Committee, sent an email to the 2020 candidates advising them to “avoid cursing or expletives” during Thursday’s debate “in accordance with federal law” and Federal Communications Commission guidelines, CNN reported.
“We will not be broadcasting on any delay, so there will be no opportunity to edit out foul language,” the message read.
ABC warned the campaigns that the debate will be broadcast without delay meaning they will not have a chance to “edit out foul language.”This is the first warning of this sort the campaigns have received prior to a debate in the 2020 cycle.
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) September 10, 2019
A source told CNN that this was the first time the candidates had received such a warning. The first two presidential primary debates were hosted by cable networks CNN and MSNBC, both of which aren’t subject to FCC rules.
Several candidates who’ll be taking the debate stage this week have cussed on the campaign trail.
Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman from Texas, has liberally used the F-bomb to express his fury at the country’s gun problem. His campaign has even started selling a T-shirt emblazoned repeatedly with the phrase “THIS IS F*CKED UP.”
Thoughts and prayers have done nothing to stop the epidemic of gun violence. Yes, this is fucked up; and if we don't call it out for what it is, we will continue to have this bloodshed in America. pic.twitter.com/Z4jgzpz6Ur
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 1, 2019
In May, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey lambasted the offering of mere “thoughts and prayers” after a mass shooting as “bullshit;” and during the second Democratic presidential debate, Andrew Yang said the Russians were “laughing their asses off” at the discord they’d managed to sow in the U.S.; and Julián Castro and Pete Buttigieg both used the word “piss.”
In one viral moment, Bernie Sanders declared that he “wrote the damn bill” after being questioned about his Medicare for All policy.
According a 2018 analysis by GovPredict, a government research company, the number of potty-mouthed politicians in the U.S. on social media are on the rise.