Joe Scarborough has joined his colleague Chris Matthews in the f-bomb hall of fame. Discussing the stylistic contrast between members of the Barack Obama and incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), he let the dreaded f-word slip out. The utterance occurred on his “Morning Joe” show in MSNBC 11/10/08. “My wife is going to kill me when I get home,” he said afterwards. “Now, Chuck Todd, I’m going to have to get some soap – that’s what you get for telling political stories.”
Scarborough intended to simply use the letter ‘”f” to stand in for the word, and in fact thought that was exactly what he did. He had to be convinced by others that the dreaded bomb actually went out over the wires.
See it for yourself below:
RBR/TVBR observation: Notice we used the phrase “over the wires” rather than “over the air.” “Morning Joe” is not on a broadcast network, just a cable network. Although most basic cable shows respect the safe harbor rules applicable to broadcasters of their own volition, they in fact enjoy much greater freedom of speech, so the FCC would not be able to do a thing about this slip-up even if they do win their pending Supreme Court case v. Fox.
This is exactly the kind of accidental fleeting utterance that has always been excused by the FCC. Scarborough is a pro who made a mistake. He was not trying to pander or titillate. He was discussing serious topics of national interest. He and others must have the ability to speak frankly. We hope the Supremes take note of this fact and uphold the lower court ruling in favor of Fox.