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CULTURE DIGEST: CNN uses foul language to boost ratings

NASHVILLE (BP) — CNN is “sliding down a slippery slope of classless unprofessionalism” by using a celebrity chef known for profanity to boost ratings.

Hollywood agent Alec Shankman told ratings rival Fox News, “Typically swearing is edited out with bleeping sounds when it is unintentional and/or inappropriate for the audience,” with most reality and news shows making a point to edit it out.

At issue is CNN’s “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown,” which airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern. Apparently the news network does nothing to censor the chef’s foul language on the pre-taped show.

“CNN is clearly deflecting families away from their programming, and doing so rather proudly,” media expert Angie Olszewski told Fox News, adding the slippery slope comment.

Pop culture writer Rachelle Friberg noted that while profanity may be commonplace on a myriad of cable networks, CNN is supposed to be different. It’s a news-based channel that markets itself as the most trusted name in news.

Bourdain’s uncensored use of bad language “illustrates the extreme attempt CNN is taking to boost viewership,” Friberg said. “All the profanity looks like a desperate attempt to stay relevant.”

As an example of his noticeable proclivity toward the profane, when Bourdain made an appearance in Richmond, Va., in late April, the Richmond Times-Dispatch ran this headline: “Chef Bourdain in Richmond — A profanity-laced one-man show.”

NEW DATING SITE TARGETS CELIBATE SINGLES — The dating site BlackCelibacy.com offers singles a new option for finding others who embrace sexual abstinence, said site founder Jeremy Billingsley, a married father of three.

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from the Lord,” the site proclaims on its cover page, quoting Proverbs 18:22. The site targets African Americans in its title but is open to all singles seeking celibate relationships, Billingsley told Essence.com.

“BlackCelibacy.com is for anyone who is celibate or considering celibacy. And it’s for those looking to meet others with the same values,” Billingsley said. “We’re growing now. There aren’t just black people on there. We actually have people of all races on the site.”

Billingsley said he conceived the site during a Sunday worship service, Essence.com reported.

“One Sunday I was in church and the pastor was preaching about love and fornication and he was really trying to direct the sermon to the singles there, and I thought to myself, outside of the church there really aren’t that many places where celibate singles can go that embraces that lifestyle and meet others on the same accord as them,” he said. “When like-minded singles can get together you’re going to get better results.”

The site promotes itself as meeting practical and spiritual needs.

“At BlackCelibacy we are dispelling the antiquated notions about celibacy for black singles, such as celibate people are unattractive, celibate singles are scarred emotionally, or if you are celibate you can’t date,” BlackCelibacy.com posts. “Black singles practice celibacy for a number of reasons, such as: spiritual, ethical, avoiding STD’s, self-discipline, self-discovery, or just simply trying to avoid premature relationships.”

The site lists 10 reasons to practice celibacy, including obeying God’s will, not having to worry about STDs or unwanted pregnancies, freeing yourself to focus on your goals, limiting unwanted emotional baggage and allowing clearheaded decision-making regarding commitment.

The site had about 4,000 members and had received success stories as of late April, Billingsley reportedly told Essence.com.
Compiled by Erin Roach and Diana Chandler of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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