January 4, 2008

Will your honor allow "vajayjay"?

I was all set to retire my award-winning series on media self-censorship (scroll to third item), but two recent occurrences are too interesting to pass up.

First, Ernest points out that the New York Times completely and perhaps defamatorily misrepresented the words of screenwriter John August when it attempted to sanitize his language. This is a perfect example of the serious point that's always been behind these self-censorship posts: prudishness isn't just silly, it's bad journalism.

Second, today's New York Post features what is perhaps the funniest bit of censored dialogue in any newspaper ever. The story concerns a court appearance of a Broadway actor who had a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old girl.

"I placed my hand - I mean her hand," Barbour continued, flubbing his line, "on my p- - -s and my hand on her v- - - -a."

"On her what?" asked the court stenographer, leaning in to hear him.

"On her v- - - -a," he repeated helpfully, projecting more clearly.

"I'm sorry, I don't speak dash," replied the stenographer.

To understand the arbitrariness of this practice, consider that according to Nexis, the New York Post has printed the word penis 532 times and vagina 256 times since 1997, including in stories about teenage victims. Just last week it quoted actress Jenna Fisher saying, "That's right, ladies, we have penis." And a month ago, Cindy fucking Adams had no problem quoting Gene Simmons saying "Her vagina is so large that the Verizon man couldn't get reception in certain parts." (Cindy drew the line, however, at revealing the name of the lady in question.)

So why the sudden skittishness? It's like the Vajapocalypse never even happened.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


I like this paragraph:

"While his victim's star has risen - she's had recurring bit roles on 'The Sopranos' and played minor parts in two Broadway plays - Barbour has been working primarily at a small reparatory theater in Sarasota, Fla."

Where he's making reparations, presumably.

I like that paragraph because that little headstart on your IMDB research immediately precedes the prosecutor tut-tutting that he was threatening to leak her name so that he could conduct a proper defense of his case.

Could "p- - -s" and "v- - - -a" be a nod to crossword buffs?

Maybe YOU, Radosh, have a dirty mind (maybe?). Maybe what he actually said was: "I put her hand on my poems and my hand on her Velveta."

You never know, that's all I'm sayin'

(Other suggestions?)

Be$t pr|ces for v-----a 0nLiN3!

"palms" and "Vagoda", though we all know Vagoda is just a euphemism for

"I put her hand on my Paris and my hand on her Vienna."

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