"There's a new Star Wars movie, and no one cares," announced New York Times Opinionator blogger Chris Sullentrop in a Friday afternoon post, about which we would not have cared if it hadn't been closely followed by sixteen ominous words: "(Warning: if you click through the link there will be language that The Times frowns upon.)" (Warning: Spoiler alert: "Fuck.") Okay so: every newspaper has anachronistic decency standards, but the Times is the most stubbornly prudish. One time, for instance, they refused to print the name of the bar The Cock. Another time, Dick Cheney told Patrick Leahy to "Fuck off" on the Senate floor on the same day the Senate passed the "Defense of Decency Act" and everyone printed the word then — except the Times. One special historical figure has been directly quoted uttering those four letters in the Times's database-searchable history and it is:Monica! Duh. Remember the Starr Report? Bet you never thought you'd look back on that era as one in which the mainstream media seemed less disingenuously pious.

In a recorded conversation later on October 6, Ms. Lewinsky said she wanted two things from the President. The first was contrition: He needed to 'acknowledge . . . that he helped fuck up my life.'

Obviously, we sympathize more with Monica than Times editors here. After all, as Washington Post editors usually point out self-mockingly in cases like these, as they did when I recently tried unsuccessfully to contrast "sweetie" with "cunt" in a reference to John McCain's alleged use of the term in a fight with his wife for a column for the Washington Post website, the Washington Post is indisputably a "family newspaper." Not so the Times, which possesses nary a comic section nor a "Mini Page" nor any of those coupons for various high fructose corn syrup treats that are actually 1000x more likely to be noticed by impressionable children than any actual text. The Empire Goes Slack [NYT] Cheney Dismisses Critic With Obscenity [Washington Post] John McCain's Profane Tirade At His Wife