Former President Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver Wednesday night will be broadcast on a five-second delay similar to that used to screen callers on talk radio programs, party officials confirmed today.
The five-second delay, customarily used to censor callers who might use profanity or other unacceptable speech on a radio show, has never before been used in the broadcast of a speech by a former President of the United States, experts believe.
But convention planners, nervous that Mr. Clinton might depart from his prepared remarks in an unacceptable way, said that they were using the delay “just in case.”
“We hope and expect that Bill Clinton will give a stirring and perfectly acceptable speech, by broadcast standards,” said DNC chairman Howard Dean. “However, if we see his face turning red and his forehead starting to throb, we’ll be there to pull the plug.”
For his part, former President Clinton said that he was “surprised” by the DNC’s decision to institute the five-second delay, but added, “It’s just like those motherfuckers.”