Watchdog Blog

Barry Sussman: Snappy? Liberated? No, Just an Editorial Snafu

Posted at 4:53 pm, November 27th, 2010
Barry Sussman Mug

Two letters in the Washington Post Nov. 27th told editors something they should know without reminding: Just because somebody says something stupid or crude that is picked up here and there doesn’t mean it has to go in the paper.

The letters were referring to what ran as the “Quote of the Week” in a political column, “The Monday Fix,” on Nov. 22. The quote was one by James Carville, saying, “If Hillary gave him [Obama] one of her balls, they’d both have two.” Lots of places aside from the Post ran it.

One letter, written by a couple in DC, noted that it wasn’t surprising that Carville “would be crude, demeaning and insulting to the secretary of state and the president of the United States in a single sentence… We know what Carville is. We now know what the Post is becoming.”

While I’m at it, there’s a headline on a TV review on the front page of the Post’s Style section that says, in 48-point type, “Dreck the Halls.” (The head is in the print edition, not on the Website.)

Good editorial judgment? Snappy? Liberated? Maybe not. More like a newspaper snafu.

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