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November 3, 2009

Pinche Self-Censorship

Frank Koughan

The New York Times weird self-censorship - heavily documented over the years by Radosh.net 1.0 - goes international today, with an article about Mexicans' love of salty language.

The twist is that while the NYT's aversion to English-language swearing requires its writers avoid the actual word while describing it explicitly, the Mexico City bureau prints the vulgarities but declines to fully explain them. So while the Times will contort itself like David Blaine to avoid printing the word "fuck," there's chingar leaping out at us from page A8. The Times, being the Times, turns to the Royal Spanish Academy to inform us that chingar "is a derivative of the word 'to fight' but that in Mexico can be very offensive or very innocuous or virtually anything in between." "Anything in between" presumably includes its most common usage: to rape (though maybe 'force-fuck' would be more accurate; as in English, Spanish has a word for rape [violar] that is not itself a vulgarity). Chinga tu madre - "go rape your mother" - is something you would only say to someone you were prepared to fight to the death. Standards are a lot looser in Mexico, but sightings of chingar in respectable newspapers are still pretty rare.

Likewise, pinche:

One banner, a tame one, referred to Mr. Calder——n as a "pinche ladr——n," which can be translated as a "damn crook." Pinche, though, can also be a word with no negative connotation at all, meaning a cook's assistant.

Pinche can be translated as "damn," but is more commonly translated as "fucking." The Times doesn't even hint at this, but prints the word itself - a sight as jarring to a Mexican as "FUCKIN' YANKEES!" would have been on the front page of today's sports section.

And when Mexicans want to say "shit" - the exclamation, not the bodily excretion - they use a variant of chingar : chin. Nexis won't even calculate how many times the NYT has printed that one.


Fortunately anybody with a clue ignores the Times these days.

And why is it that you can speak freely about "Mexicans' love of salty language," but it's considered racist if you bring up their love for salty snackfoods?

J.D: Apart from winning more Pulitzers (95) than any other newspaper in history, The New York Times has a daily circ. of 1,683,855, the third largest in the country. It is clearly among the most influencial news gathering organizations on earth.

Maybe you're the one who's sans-clue.

The New York Times? Wait, let me laugh.

They did such a good job reporting on 911 and the Bush years. And the early days of AIDS, and the holocaust, and Vietnam.

Lies couched in bad writing. Propaganda arm of the permanent regime. Xenophobic condescension. Resume entry for careerist assholes.

Oh yeah, the New York Times is such a paradigm of Fourth Estate watchdoggery.

Ahem. Gentlemen, please. Can't we just agree that the New York Times is the premiere newspaper of our plutocracy, with all that entails good and bad?

Anyway, It ain't just the Mexicans or even just those that speak Mexican. I can't imagine the late, little-lamented Wm. Safire waxing as poetic about jerk-off as he does about wanker: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/12/magazine/full-bore-small-bore.html?scp=3&sq=wanker&st=cse

It would seem the patina of "classiness" that still shrouds "Underpants-Losing-Drunk Island" goes a long way.

Why, when the Times endorsed Mayor for Life Generalissimo Bloomberg's third term, I was shocked, shocked I tell you.

"The history of the CIA———s involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception for the following principal reasons:

——— The use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence———gathering employed by the CIA. Although the Agency has cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 primarily as a result of pressure from the media), some journalist———operatives are still posted abroad.

——— Further investigation into the matter, CIA officials say, would inevitably reveal a series of embarrassing relationships in the 1950s and 1960s with some of the most powerful organizations and individuals in American journalism.

Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the LouisviIle Courier———Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps———Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald———Tribune."

-- "THE CIA AND THE MEDIA" by Carl Bernstein

"Resume entry for careerist assholes."

You mean like that lazy careerist, David Rohde, who lounged around for nearly 8 months before escaping from the Taliban in Afghanistan?

Lazy careerist? Who called anybody lazy?

And by the the Taliban, you mean that militant student faction that grew up in perpetual war, trained in madrassas funded by the US, as a natural continuation of the US arming the warring factions of the Mujahideen in order to fuck with the Soviets? A covert program funded in the hundreds of millions and run out of CIA boss William Casey's back pocket? That united tens of thousands of Muslim militants along with Bin Laden? Once the Soviets withdrew, gosh, what a shock, the warring factions turned their US-supplied missiles on each other, and then had the winner of that mess targeted by the US?

I don't know -- if some country did that to us we might be suspicious of a citizen of that country nosing around, especially if he is known to work for an operation connected with that country's secret death squad. Charitable restraint not to kill such an individual outright, wot? Perhaps they were trying to ascertain if his previous Muslim-sympathetic reporting was the real thing and not a cover for espionage, and then decided to let him "escape?" We only have his own account, and sullied reputation by being on the payroll of the CIA-available New York Times, so who really knows?

I'm less concerned about one American's lucrative adventure tale than the thousands of innocents we continue to slaughter, born in harm's way and not going there by career choice, whose harrowing last moments no reporter quite seems to convey to us sufficiently to make this country stop the madness.

It is an old trick to populate a corrupt organization with earnest humanitarians in the trenches to mask the evil at the core, and to deflect criticism thereof. Cf the United Nations, the US government, the Pentagon, Hollywood. Which Times byline you going to fling next to prove your point? Ben Brantley? Daniel Radosh?

I'm trying to think of a Mexican word to describe JD. Payaso comes to mind. It's appeared 17 times in the NYT, by the way.

Hey, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer in sus pantalones. I never claimed to possess more than a talent to mildly amuse ...

But when I'm south of the border they call me "guapo." Just what is, son, don't hate.

It happens again!


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