[Ads-l] The Mooch and print journalism

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 29 22:06:41 UTC 2017

> "C-blocking"

Isn't that, at worst, ambiguous, even if readers are already familiar with
the term? And, if readers are familiar with the term, then WTF is the
problem with spelling it out? To paraphrase, "ours is not to reason why" is
a good-enough answer, I reckon.

On Sat, Jul 29, 2017 at 2:14 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> On the topic of The Mooch:
> Interesting moment in the history of the F-word and related
> asteriskabilia...
> As many of you have no doubt noticed, The Mooch’s rant (first of what we
> can hope will be many) has led to the Decency Drawbridge being
> significantly lowered by the Gray Lady and other news sources.  Am I right
> in thinking this was the first (or one of the first) instances in which the
> Times has printed “fucking” in so many letters? (Jesse will know.) Not to
> mention the bit where The Mooch maintains that he, unlike Bannon, isn’t
> “trying to suck [his] own cock”.  Note this article in today’s print
> version reflecting on the issue:
> =====================
> https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/28/business/scaramuccis-
> vulgar-rant-spurs-newsroom-debate-asterisks-or-no-asterisks.html
> […]
> At The New York Times, editors had a lengthy, raucous discussion about
> which obscenities to include, and how many. Dean Baquet, the executive
> editor of The Times, made the final decision.
> “We concluded that it was newsworthy that a top Trump aide used such
> language,” Cliff Levy, a deputy managing editor at The Times, wrote on
> Twitter. “And we didn’t want our readers to have to search elsewhere to
> find out what Scaramucci said.”
> Still, the publication of so many expletives and vulgarities, while deemed
> newsworthy, may have baffled any reader accustomed to The Times of yore.
> “There is no question in my mind that in recent years, we have been more
> open to considering exceptions in a range of cases,” Phil Corbett, the
> standards editor for The Times, said. “Fifteen years ago, we almost never
> would have made exceptions like this.”
> One Times policy has remained intact: after publishing vulgar language and
> obscenities in an article, the paper rarely repeats them in subsequent
> ones. And, thus, this story.
> =================
> —That is, Ember’s article itself avoids all such terms, referring instead
> to "an F and G with asterisks between" and “C-blocking”.  But while that
> may be the Times’ policy, it apparently can be relaxed for columnists, as
> seen in this op-ed by Bret Stephens in the same issue, which spells
> everything out in full (sixth and seventh paragraphs down):
> https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/28/opinion/trump-vulgarity-
> scaramucci-conservatives.html
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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