A few viewers have been wondering why 9NEWS doesn't just come out and say that word that President Trump reportedly said in the Cabinet Room this week.
The truth is, the station could face a major fine if we say "shithole" on TV.
Saying a word like that on broadcast television is a great way to get a TV station kicked in the right excrement chasm by the Federal Communications Commission. Federal law prohibits broadcasters from airing obscenity, indecency or profanity.
In this case, the FCC would consider it profanity, which it defines as "grossly offensive language that is considered a public nuisance."
You could consider that open to interpretation. 9NEWS tends to use the informal "grandma method." If a standard grandma would be offended by a word, we usually consider it profane.
CNN and other cable networks are using that word to cover the story, and they can. The same profanity rules don't apply to cable and satellite TV and radio because users subscribe to those services. In other words, people watching have made a conscious choice to consume that media.
It's the same reason 9NEWS can say "shithole" on 9NEWS.com - a user actively chooses to click on a headline and read a story.
If you want to nerd out, you can read more about the specific FCC guidelines here.