You Stay Classy Old Media

Rob Long once cautioned his fellow Ricochet podcasters “don’t work blue,” as he himself was told when he first became a television writer. Old media seems to have forgotten that message in recent weeks. At terrorist-friendly Reuters, one journalist’s vulgarity is another journalist’s descriptive noun for an Israeli crowd-control device:


Palestinians call it simply “shit.”

“How can you describe this stuff?” said Muad Tamimi, whose gas station on the front line of Nabi Saleh’s standoffs is often bathed in it. “It’s beyond foul water, like a dead body and rotting food together, which no soap or perfume can take off – I’m hit with it and nobody goes near me for days.”

Developed by a private Israeli company and first deployed by the army in 2008, skunk is an organic brew of baking powder, yeast, and some ingredients kept secret. It is harmless to health and designed to reduce casualties, the Israelis say.

“Every attempt is made to minimize the risk of casualties among the rioters, as well as minimizing the risk towards security forces,” the army said.

While they since thought better of their decision, middlebrow film critic turned wannabe leftwing political pundit Roger Ebert’s column was allowed to be published by the editors of the Chicago Sun-Times with an f-bomb. I grabbed a screenshot of the original on Saturday after being alerted to it by a post at Steve Bartin’s Newsalert blog:


Which is evidently either Ebert returning to his Russ Meyers-era roots, or demonstrating those “Chicago values” that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is always mentioning.

And of course, this past month, a contributor to MSNBC issued a half-hearted apology after inventing the word “niggerization” for the channel.

In the 1970s, George Carlin memorably railed against the seven dirty words you couldn’t say in the media; I hope wherever he’s getting his news these days, he’s happy with its current state.


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