Hot Mic: An Unwitting Link to a Listening Public

From a Wall Street Journal Word on the Street column by Ben Zimmer headlined “‘Hot Mic’: An Unwitting Link to a Listening Public”:

Linguist and lexicographer Ben Zimmer analyzes the origins of words in the news.

At a White House event on Monday, President Biden called the Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy a “stupid son of a bitch” in response to a question about whether inflation would be a political liability leading up to the midterm elections. News outlets including CNN, NBC News, ABC News and USA Today reported that the president had been caught cursing on a “hot mic.”