Thursday, June 01, 2006

Foul-Mouthed Reporter Vindicated

Arthur Chi'en was a reporter for WCBS, New York's CBS affiliate, until he was fired for yelling the f-word. He doing a live, on-camera report when a heckler (who was trying to publicize local shock jocks Opie and Anthony) made some sort of obscene gesture. Chi'en thought the camera was off at that point, and yelled "What the fuck is your problem, man?" The camera was rolling and he got fired.

No one but the soulless minions of orthodoxy at WCBS thought this was a good idea -- the subjects of the story he was reporting on, all Metro Transit-related groups, wrote letters protesting his firing. And not one viewer complained about the outburst. Of all cities in this country, New York might be the most empathetic to a guy moved to foul language in the line of duty.

Indeed, Café Press still appears to be selling Chi'en Revolution t-shirts, including a nice one depicting a certain Mr. Cheney that says "You'd Have to be a Dick to get Away With a Fuck," referring to the vice president's potty mouth on the senate floor. The Chi'en Revolution store says:
"Arthur Chi'en, The Right Man At The Right Time!
"Today's battle is only the beginning of a long and illustrious life of leadership in the war against placard-bearing satellite-radio drones and shell-shocked corporate news officers! Show your support of his righteous reaction in your office cubicle and/or local shopping center! He will report again!"
And he does report again -- he has since moved on to New York's channel 11, but a court decided this week that he shouldn't have been fired:
"...the evidence reveals that Mr. Chi'en did not intend for his words to be heard on-air, that this was a singular incident in which the word "fuck" was used outside any sexual context, that the Station did not receive a single complaint about the incident... Furthermore, the applicable Company policy, which, among other prohibitions, prohibited the word "fuck" on the air, does not require the termination of employees for a violation of the policy, and Howard Stern was not terminated for far more egregious on-air conduct. In short, the Company did not have cause to discharge Mr. Chi'en."
The New York Daily News reports that Chi'en will be compensated by WCBS, but that he's staying at WPIX 11.


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