They (The New York Times Did What?

As I approach my 85th birthday, I’m learning new things. Just yesterday I learned that nocturia is not a green vegetable that grows at night and tastes like arugula. It has to do with getting up at night to pee, perhaps after eating too much arugula.

There was a time when I earned a paycheck as a newsman. I’m glad I’m too old-fashioned to do that these days. While I have boasted that during my years on the Central News Desk at Radio Free Europe, “I single-handedly convicted Richard Nixon in all of Eastern Europe,” there can’t be much joy in writing copy today that says “The President said blah, blah, but he was lying” or “The ex-president said blah, blah, but he was lying.”

Writing that must be as tiresome as the old standby from my days in news, “New tension in the Middle East.”

I don’t read newspapers like I once did. I don’t have to. But occasionally I see something in print that sort of shocks me. Yes, quality newspapers printed Donald J. saying “grab’em by the pussy.” What choice did they have? And then last Sunday in The New York Times op/ed page, I read this: “While I left my marriage at 32 to pursue my true desires, I wondered whether things like blow jobs….”

Hello! “Blow jobs” in The New York Times? “READ ALL ABOUT IT.” One wonders (or at least this one does) whether there was a discussion by op/ed editors about use of that term.

“Well, Gang. We have this piece for the Sunday paper that includes the expression ‘blow jobs.’ Anyone think we ought to change that? Sarah?”

“Hell, no. Everyone knows what a blow job is. Using that term is a lot better I think than springing a Latin word on readers, making some of them have to Google it.”

“Walt? What say you?”

“I hate to be a pedant, but ‘blow job’ is such an inaccurate term. When done right, there is no blowing; it’s all sucking. Right? I suppose we go with it, though maybe someone in a high position should talk to marketing about selling New York Times Sunday bibs to be worn by our precious readers so they don’t spill coffee all over themselves when coming across ‘blow jobs’ and other fun words in our editions.”

I’m looking forward to this Sunday’s Times and my morning coffee. Just to be safe, I plan to put on a cooking apron in case there are more surprises.

(Posted August 25, 2022)

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Larry McCoy

Retired newsman, author of “Grandma Told Me to Never Believe Anything Grandpa Says” published by Covenant Books. It’s his third book. He’s yet to be sued.