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by Vault Law Editors | November 14, 2008

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Right now, wherever he is (perhaps in ?a garage in Buffalo?), George Carlin is shaking his head?or, more likely, a middle finger. The Supreme Court spent part of last week scrutinizing the government?s crackdown on so-called ?fleeting? expletives in the case of FCC v. Fox Television Stations. (One such example came from Bono, whose fleetingly obscene acceptance speech at the 2003 Golden Globes was deemed by the FCC to be a threat ?to the well-being of the nation?s children.?) Highlights from the hearing included philosophical discussion on acceptable usage of the word ?dung? and Justice John Paul Stevens? musings over whether the FCC should consider ?whether the particular remark was really hilarious?very, very funny.?

Right on cue, talking head Joe Scarborough made headlines on Monday when he let fly with one of Carlin?s Seven Dirty Words during his morning show on MSNBC; Jon Stewart put it all in perspective:

For those of you keeping score, Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin leads the team representing Fox in the case, which likely won?t be decided till mid-2009. Meanwhile, Scarborough, who has worked for prominent trial lawyer Fred Levin and Florida powerhouse Beggs & Lane, earned himself a seven-second tape delay from MSNBC for his early-morning slip.

- posted by ben fuchs

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