Monday, July 17, 2006

Please keep this out of my paper

I'm going to part company with some of my colleagues here, but I'd appreciate it if y'all -- that's all of you in the great wide media world out there -- don't waste my time tomorrow morning with stories about The President and his choice of off-mike language.

Trust me. Whether newspapers write "s***" as "s---" or "s--t" or whatever isn't an issue, because Mr. Bush's use of a naughty word has no bearing whatsoever on what Middle East actors do or how U.S. policy is formed. There's real news out there to cover, and some of you have some homework to do before you start covering even that (Doug has an appalling example laid out on the dissecting table, in case you had any doubts).

There's only one variable of any interest at all in the open-mike debate, and that's why Bush said "what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s---" when his whole armed propaganda wing is trying to say it's Iran's fault. (Somebody needs to get on message, you think?) Well, that and whether the Guardian violated its own style mandate, which calls for using the naughty words in all their glory.

Oh, and whoever wrote "Bush curses Hezbollah during G-8 luncheon"? Take a lap. He did no such thing. Please, read story before writing hed. Better, read transcript. You might see something interesting.

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