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The Bong Hit Heard Round The World

phelps_2-3.jpgA tipster asked last night: “Do you know why the Michael Phelps bong pic was shown on ‘Today’ this AM and then when it was discussed during the 3PM MSNBC hour, Norah O’Donnell said they couldn’t show it?”

Here’s what we’ve been able to figure out…

While reporting the story, O’Donnell said, “The photo showed up in a British tabloid and is now all over the internet. We can’t show it to you.”

An NBC spokesperson tells TVNewser, “We got permission to run the photo from News of the World.” The agreement called for a one-time use of the photo on the “Today” show, without excerpting on MSNBC. The NBC spokesperson adds, “We did not pay for the picture.”

(Here’s News of the World’s story.)

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