The New York Times Won’t Call Perfect Pussy By Their Name

04/02/2014 11:15 AM |

The New York Times wont call Perfect Pussy by their name
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The New York Times has many, um, quirks, not the least of which is a notoriously quaint, pearl-clutching approach to the use of profanity. Most recently, they referred to Is The L Train Fucked as a site with an “unprintable name.” It’s charming, in its way, but also a little confusing, particularly when it manifests as referring to Pussy Riot by name, but indie darlings Perfect Pussy as another “unprintable name.” The Observer picked up on this particular disparity, and asked the paper of record to explain themselves.

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The paper’s standards Editor Phil Corbett told Off the Record, “I would not describe it as inconsistency; we are making case-by-case judgments, based on newsworthiness, context and other factors. In the case of Pussy Riot, it involved a major international news story, and the name was reported ubiquitously. It would have been impractical and probably counterproductive to try to avoid the name. On the other hand, a brief reference to one obscure band is a different situation. Plenty of bands these days choose names in part for shock value, and we don’t necessarily feel obligated to print them.”

Seems like a fair assumption that Pussy Riot also chose their name “in part for shock value,” but we get what he’s driving at. Any of you young upstarts hoping to just force the Times to say “pussy” for kicks have another thing coming. You’ll have to take that routine to publications that’ve already debased themselves to your level. Like this one.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.