Dispatches From The Couch: Flashin’ Faux Pas

survivor penis
By: Couch Tater

Okay, folks, it’s officially time to grow up.

For those who haven’t heard, the Parents Television Council is up in arms following an accidental flash of penis revealed on the September 25 episode of SURVIVOR: GABON. (Go ahead do a quick Google image search. I’ll wait.)

I’m willing to bet that 95 percent of you would never have seen contestant Marcus Lehman’s no-longer private parts were it not for the fact that the PTC turned this flash-in-the-pan(ts) moment into a major scandal by filing an indecency complaint against CBS with the Federal Communications Commission and, in turn, making his the most seen crotch since Britney stepped out of a limo sans panties.


The American economy is in a freefall, we’re in danger of electing someone whose foreign policy experience amounts to having drunk her way around the world showcase at EPCOT as vice president… and this group thinks we should waste time being concerned about a dick flopping around on the TV screen for two seconds?

Do we really want to spend millions of dollars in lawsuits and investigations that will, as with the now-infamous Nipplegate (also, it’s worth noting, instigated by complaints from the PTC), result in nothing more than drawing a whole lot of attention to Lehman’s crotch?

In a statement, CBS stated that the incident was “a completely unintentional, inadvertent and fleeting incident that was virtualy undetectable when viewed in real-time.” In fact, the networks said that before freeze-frames of the image were plastered on the net, they’d received only one complaint. Which means that among the approximately 13 million who watched the episode, one person — in a nation prone to complaining — was disturbed enough to register their displeasure.

Until the PTC — those would-be guardians against smut — got involved.

In a statement that would be funny if not for the fact we suspect the PTC has no sense of humor, they responded to CBS by saying, “The number of ‘fleeting’ penises we expect to see on broadcast television is zero.”

One can’t help but wonder if any members of the Council have ever actually watched SURVIVOR, which regularly features women in bosom-bearing bras and men in underwear which leaves nothing — including their religious affiliation — to the imagination.

The lesson learned here — by everyone but the Council — is that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. While 13 million people may have watched last week’s episode of SURIVIOR, this week, the show is the talk of the nation.

You can’t buy publicity like that. But with a little luck, a group of prudes with their fingers on not the pulse of society but rather their remote control’s freeze-frame button will serve it to you on a silver platter. Maybe CBS should send the members of the PTC a fruit basket, or at least a very nice “thank you” card.

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • Josh Emerson

    Frak, I knew I should’ve DVR’d Survivor last week! lol I believe we need more penises all over TV. Britain allows TV nudity, why can’t the prudes here in America too? :p

  • tim wilkins

    I watched ‘survivor’ online and didn’t even see it. lol It wasn’t noticeable until someone freeze framed it and then hit the internet. I agree, all this is free publicity for ‘survivor.’ PTC should let it drop. How is it CBS ‘the old folks network’ as it’s called gets in trouble with PTC? Amazing. Not race. =)

  • People are really getting ridiculous.

    Don’t they realize that by pointing that out, they’re the ones who are calling attention to something that probably 99% of the people watching Survivor (including me) never even noticed.

    But of course, now that it was pointed out, of course I had to go hunt down the video and honestly, even then unless you did a close up on it, you could hardly see anything.

    People need to stop getting their panties in a bunch of stupid crap.

  • * People need to stop getting their panties in a bunch over stupid crap.