Do we quote the president … completely?

An interesting back story is developing in the wake of Donald John “Potty Mouth” Trump’s latest crude utterance.

Some media outlets are debating whether to publish or broadcast a profane expletive in an unedited form.

You know of which I am talking. The president expressed an angry epithet this week while discussing immigration with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the White House; he asked why the United States accepts immigrants from countries that are, um, less desirable than others.

He doesn’t understand why we accept immigrants from Haiti and from Africa. He wants to see more immigration from countries such as Norway.

He used a word I don’t like publishing on this blog. I choose to disguise it lightly with asterisks; readers know what it says. How do they know it? Because someĀ  media outlets say it out loud.

CNN made a point of using the term explicitly in its coverage of the controversy last night. Anderson Cooper and then Chris Cuomo made no apologies for it. They both said the public needed to hear the word that flew out of the president’s mouth. Cuomo commented on how his children listened to Dad say it while he was offering commentary and was questioning guests on his news-talk show.

CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett, though, made a point that his network won’t repeat the word as Trump blurted it out.

I am going to continue to disguise the epithet. I once made a vow about a year ago that this blog wouldn’t sink into the rhetorical rathole.

I prefer to let gutter mouths — such as the president of the United States — speak for themselves.

Leave a Reply