Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

The New York Times and Language Restrictions

with 3 comments

By Wiz

According to Bob Herbert, the New York Times will not let him publish the words that Tea Partiers called John Lewis and Barney Frank. Herbert is obviously referring to the incidents that I wrote about back here, when right-wing thugs called Frank a “Faggot” and Lewis a “Nigger.”

I, for one, am of the opinion that it’s a disservice to hide these words behind euphemisms like “the n-word” or “racial epithet,” the language that most of the commentators used to describe what the tea party people said. Doing so anesthetizes the situation, allowing both writers and readers to emotionally distance ourselves from what was going on. It discourages us from facing their hate with clear eyes.

Simultaneously, it allows the racists to feel like they are brave rule-breakers because they have violated the taboos of political correctness.

Anyways… that’s my two cents on the matter. Any other opinions?

(Obviously I’m talking about when we describe hate-speech. I’ll take it for granted no one in the New York Times or this site would use this language)

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Written by Peter Wirzbicki

March 24, 2010 at 16:25

Posted in Health Care, race, The Right

3 Responses

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  1. d’accordo…the papers, probably, Officially, hide behind “What if kids read it?” Which is bullshit, getting back to tucking shit under the rug, or confronting it. Preferring, some of us, to confront.

    steve

    March 24, 2010 at 16:54

  2. I gotta put my foot down here: I tucked some shit under the rug once, and it really didn’t end well.

    wotty

    March 24, 2010 at 21:01

  3. How delicate the sensibilities of the NY Times, who managed to bring us things like the Iraq War.

    When we hide words – or thoughts – we give them power.

    Moe

    March 24, 2010 at 22:09


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