Thursday, February 14, 2008

More bad words

In the early seventies comic George Carlin would list in his act "seven words you can never say on television." The very riff led to a Supreme Court decision which helped establish indecency standards in American broadcasting.

35 years later some of Carlin's seven words look tame, but one -- "cunt" -- still jumps out as highly taboo. At least on this side of the Atlantic.

This morning Jane Fonda, ever the in-your-face revolutionary, shocked millions by dropping an uncensored and completely casual "cunt" on NBC's Today Show during a discussion of her rationale behind doing the play The Vagina Monologues.

Fonda hasn't been the only one getting salty with descriptions of female anatomy. Earlier this week Mark Halperin, a senior political analyst for Time Magazine and ABC News, used the word "pussy" (not one of Carlin's seven) when describing on a satellite radio show what John Edwards thinks of Barack Obama -- and why Edwards might buck current trends and throw his support behind Hillary Clinton.

Last night Halperin apologized for his language, while strongly implying it was his zest for reporting Edwards's words accurately which led him astray.

If this is true, wow. It's one thing to be pimped out by Hillary Clinton, but to be called a pussy by John "I can't go anywhere without my compact and hairbrush" Edwards?

I wonder what Edwards would have said if he knew the word "cunt" had become available?

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