Banned from Miss. airwaves after sex talk, 'Fresh Air' is returning, but at a later time

Posted: July 27, 2010

After a four-week hiatus, Mississippi Public Broadcasting is putting WHYY's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" back on the air - with an evening time slot and a warning to viewers that they may encounter "adult content."

It's a quick about-face from a July 7 decision to drop the show from all eight of Mississippi's public-radio stations.

The "Fresh Air" broadcast that day included an interview with comedian Louis C.K., who made two sexual confessions: He always wears a T-shirt, out of consideration for the woman he's with, and stays on his back during sex scenes on his new FX TV show, to avoid upsetting images.

That was too much information for somebody. The show was dropped immediately, with no public announcement until a week later, when a Jackson minister took note of the situation on a blog posting and the decision got some national attention.

MPB's executive director, Judith Lewis, in a public statement July 16, criticized the show's "gratuitous discussions on issues of an explicit sexual nature."

Yesterday, she issued another statement, announcing that "Fresh Air" would return to Mississippi next Monday, but at 9 p.m. instead of 3 p.m.

"We have had constructive conversations with Fresh Air and we will now include notices saying that the program may include adult content," Lewis' statement said. "I believe airing this program in the 9 p.m. time slot allows MPB to respond to those who appreciate the program and be sensitive to those who do not believe it is appropriate for afternoon listeners.

"There are millions of Mississippians and everyone of them has a slightly different set of perspectives and values."

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