Times Public Editor Not Allergic to 'Nuts'

Not just anyone can get ‘nuts’ into the pages of The New York Times. While reporters covering Jesse Jackson’s open mic gaffe had to dance around his phrase "I wanna cut his nuts off," Public Editor Clark Hoyt got a special pass to quote him in full in a column about crude speech in the paper.

After running through which publications used the dreaded word and which didn’t, Mr. Hoyt wrote:

Paul Winfield, news editor at The Times, said he and Chuck Strum, an associate managing editor, made the call to, effectively, bleep Jackson’s comments. Winfield said the remark about talking down to black people was what seemed newsworthy to him, while the vulgarity did not seem important enough to make an exception to stringent Times standards. Neither Bill Keller, the executive editor, nor Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news, was consulted, and Abramson said they might have found an alternative way to deal with Jackson’s quote.

Hoyt says he would’ve used it (in fact he did since "The Times agreed to an exception to its decision for this column because what he said is central to this discussion"), but expressed sympathy for the editors. "As potty-mouth language spews from the president of the United States, the vice president of the United States, from rappers, rock bands, Hollywood movies, the Broadway stage, modern literature, cable television, the Internet and people on the sidewalk talking into their cellphones, The Times and other news media face a tough choice—just where to draw the line on words once thought unfit for what used to be called polite company."

It seems in this case, the paper chose to cut the ‘nuts’ out. Times Public Editor Not Allergic to 'Nuts'