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Gagging Leno?

NBC News and blog the Michael Jackson trial
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There has been a flurry of documents sent around today relating to NBC "Tonight" show host Jay Leno’s request for clarification of whether the gag order in the Jackson case relates to him now that he has been put on the witness list.

The defense position is that Leno should be barred from telling jokes about Jackson.

Here’s why the defense wants to call him, according to the filings: "Jay Leno is a percipient witness to the Doe family’s modus operandi of using the Doe children to solicit money from wealthy and famous people. Mr Oleno was interviewed by law enforcement on February 9, 2005 and stated that he received telephone calls from Jane and John doe (mother and accuser) . He said that they were looking for money and that the call sounded 'scripted' and 'coached.' He said that they were looking for a mark."

"Mr. Leno is an accomplished entertainer and, usually, a genuinely funny man. However, while the prosecution of Michael Jackson might be a convenient source of material, it is hardly crucial commentary on important political or social topics."

Defense attorney Robert Sanger said that it was necessary to keep Leno from being able to "make cruel jokes at Mr. Jackson’s expense" in order to protect Jackson’s right to a fair trial.

He says that entertainment personalities are not exempt.

-Nina Zacuto

And now for the crucial audiotape

Or maybe not.

The defense was about to play the audio interview with the family done by Geragos private investigator Brad Miller. However, they had technical difficulties, so defense attorney Thomas Mesereau has gone back to questioning.

-Nina Zacuto