THE PETTY FILE: Socially Tabooed Words Still a BFD

OMG, I’m totes LMAO. (Photo: Obama for America)

Some might recall the incident a couple of months ago when Rick “Potty-Mouth” Santorum’s late presidential campaign was tainted by controversy over an off-color verbal ejaculation made to a New York Times reporter. When Jeff Zeleny asked the candidate to clarify his statement that Mitt Romney is the “worst Republican in the country” to run against Obama (in the exchange, Santorum added the qualifier “on the issue of Obamacare”), Little Ricky got in a tiff and proceeded to say that if he saw the remark referenced in a story, it would be “bullshit.”

I then found myself in the interesting and unenviable position of defending Rick Santorum. I wasn’t defending his actions, of course; the reporter was merely doing his job by asking the presidential candidate to clarify his statement regarding a rival candidate. My defense was of his choice in words, particularly since the real point of the incident (Santorum unfairly castigating a member of the press) was largely lost amid the furor over the word “bullshit.” If there was any bullshit going around, it was the public’s (and the media’s) hype over Santorum using the socially tabooed word and overlooking the real issue.

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