Bleeping White House Better Watch Its Mouth

At least around reporters suddenly quoting official profanity
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2009 12:29 PM CDT
Bleeping White House Better Watch Its Mouth
In this June 8, 2009, file photo President Barack Obama listens to Vice President Joe Biden speak about the roadmap to recovery during a Cabinet meeting at the White House.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Lately, the White House has had quite the potty mouth. Barack Obama called Kanye West a “jackass,” Joe Biden told a senator to “gimme a f---ing break!” and one top economic adviser said that America hadn’t had its “holy shit” moment. That’s an unusually high naughty word count, rhetoric experts tell Politico, but the difference probably isn’t the administration: it’s the media.

 “Cursing happened all the time, across the board, wherever you went in the White House,” says one longtime Washington Post reporter. “It simply wasn’t written about.” Intense competition and online clip culture have changed that, but he worries that it’ll erode politicians’ trust in—and honesty with—the media. But another reporter argues that four-letter words are “one of the signifiers of authenticity,” and that including them gives readers a better understanding of the person. (Read more media stories.)

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