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BIRDYGATE!

Was it an innocent gesture or an obscene prank aimed at Paula Abdul? That's the question American Idol fans are asking themselves in the wake of Tuesday's show, which showed judge Simon Cowell using his middle finger to prop up his head. "Give me a break," Cowell said Wednesday during an interview on Ryan Seacrest's daytime talker, On Air. "If you scratch your nose with your middle finger, you're flipping somebody off. It's crazy." According to USA Today, Fox — which received roughly 20 e-mails about the incident — never considered editing out Cowell's dirty bird because the network's censors "found it to be nothing more than a benign body posture. He was resting his head on his hands."

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Was it an innocent gesture or an obscene prank aimed at Paula Abdul? That's the question American Idol fans are asking themselves in the wake of Tuesday's show, which showed judge Simon Cowell using his middle finger to prop up his head. "Give me a break," Cowell said Wednesday during an interview on Ryan Seacrest's daytime talker, On Air. "If you scratch your nose with your middle finger, you're flipping somebody off. It's crazy." According to USA Today, Fox — which received roughly 20 e-mails about the incident — never considered editing out Cowell's dirty bird because the network's censors "found it to be nothing more than a benign body posture. He was resting his head on his hands."