Media

A Boulder Daily Camera headline that really sucks

The Camera plunges into suckage.

Daily newspapers are notoriously cautious when it comes to language issues. A More Messages blog from August notes that the Rocky Mountain News's spelled the word "ass" as "a--" in a piece that quoted Colorado Republican Party chieftain Dick Wadhams. In addition, the Rocky posted a snippet from a George Carlin routine called "Just Enough B.S." that contained no naughty lingo whatsoever -- amazing given the late Carlin's fondness for profanity. And a 2005 Message column points out that the Denver Post twice spelled "sucks" as "su---" as recently as 2001.

When viewed in this context, an opinion piece by Bob Greenlee published in the October 5 Boulder Daily Camera is mighty bold. Not only does it contain a prominent "sucks": It places the word in a headline that reads, "More Bucks Simply Sucks."

At this writing, the comments generated by the offering deal with the crux of Greenlee's argument, not the way the Camera labeled it. The lack of reader outcry begs the question: What's the next slightly risqué word to jump to daily newspaper headline status? "Bastard"? "Bitch"? "Va-jay-jay"? The future of journalism hangs in the balance... -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts