Actor Sean Penn sent reporters scrambling for the least offensive way to convey the concept of "cum stain" during his acceptance speech for the 2006 Christopher Reeve First Amendment Award. Oh, and he also called for the impeachment of President Bush.
Said Penn: "Let's put his administration under oath. And then if the crimes of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors are proven, do as Article 2, Section 4 of the United States constitution provides, and remove the president, vice president, and … civil officers of the United States from office."
He continued: "If we attempt to impeach for lying about a blow job, yet accept these almost certain abuses without challenge, we become a cum stain on the flag we wave." [The entire speech is here.]
How's that for effective use of imagery? My seventh-grade public speaking teacher would be so proud. Of course, these remarks are inflammatory and amusing and most definitely need to be written about in this pre-Christmas news slump, but how on earth do you print the word "cum stain" if you're a major news agency catering in large part to red-state readers?
This is Fox News's take on it: "If we attempt to impeach for lying about a [oral sex act], yet accept these almost certain abuses without challenge, we become a [human] stain on the flag we wave."