A writer friend of mine in New York started a high-larious blog writing witty quips about the daily outfit choices of local traffic reporter Jamie Shupak. The blog is appropriately titled, “WTF Is Jamie Shupak Wearing?” (“I know it’s casual Friday, but that doesn’t give you license to wear a baby pink wraparound shirt from Forever 21 circa 2002. TGIF!” and “We all love to be comfortable at work, but puke-colored khaki pajamas? No.”)
So Ms. Shupak has been getting quite a bit of press lately, and the WTFIJSW blog is often mentioned in write-ups. Like in the recent New York Times article, “Stuck in Traffic? A Star is Born.” Except look at how they how they refer to the “WTF Is Jamie Shupak Wearing?” blog:
“Because fame begets skewering, Ms. Shupak has even inspired a blog whose unprintable name approximates “What is Jamie Shupak Wearing?”
Really? The NYT can’t print “WTF”? WTF?!?! I understand that they have a strict policy against profanity — but there’s no (visible) “fuck” in “WTF”! It’s as much a part of the English language as “antiquated,” “newspaper” and “ridiculous.” I can understand not wanting to have swear words all over your rag, but there’s some journalistic principles to uphold here, aren’t there — like accuracy?
A recent Chicago Reader blog touches on this topic, and links to a piece the NYT did a piece about how often you hear the word “vagina” on TV these days. The intro? “Forget the singing competitions, cop shows, fairy-tale dramas and the ‘Mad Men’-style melodramas. For network television this is the season of the vagina.”
Focusing on the word “vagina” for a news piece — using the phrase “this is the season of the vagina” — but not publishing “WTF”? Join the 21st Century NYT! Grow some balls! Or as Betty White would say — grow a vagina! Or as Facebook would have her say, maybe — I guess this balls/vagina posting that was passed around was a hoax and that it wasn’t her joke (I am guilty of the passing-around, I admit, I should have known, it was hilarious and I am in the minority of people who doesn’t believe Betty White is/was) — it supposedly belonged to comedian Sheng Wang, who supposedly got it from a California talk radio DJ?
Oh media platforms, how you befuddle me.
[UPDATE: One of my Facebook friends alerted me to the fact that the NYT has published “WTF” in the past, like in this story about comedian Marc Maron, but apparently chose not to in this instance…maybe they considered it slanderous? But then they didn’t publish it in a different profile of Marc Maron?! WTF. A Twitter bro @robertloerzel alerted me to the fact that the NYT has published “WTF” 2,460 times (not all of them referring to that phrase). By the way, my favorite definition of “WTF” comes from “Modern Family”—”Why the Face.”]
iSapien 1956672 says
Ha! Love Marc Maron's stuff since like 1990… I just thought of soemthing, does that mean the NYT won't print the letter "N" for "the N word" too?
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I didn't think about that…they'd probably write something like "an unpublishable racist word referencing African-Americans that we shouldn't even be referencing right now, crap."