At a time when a (satirical) kids’ book can be titled “Go the F u c k to Sleep,” the New York Times has always held the line against profanity, sometimes to the point of absurdity. A year ago, Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote for Salon about the exaggerated contortions editors have gone through to avoid the F bomb alone, an especially tricky maneuver when the word appears in the title of a blog a journalist needs to refer to or a play or band being reviewed.
The Times’ senior standards editor, Greg Brock, told the pseudonymous B, creator of a blog called STFU, Parents, that it would not include the name of her blog in a story, even when quoting it, for the sake of “younger readers — or for any readers who might be offended. … we feel some obligation to try to maintain the Times as a respectable publication and respect all of our readers.” That’s why any reference to the word “f u c k” has been avoided or obscured by asterisks.
The New York Times (quietly) drops the F bomb - Salon.com