Mixed Nuts: Tracking Media Coverage of Jackson's Slur
Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher beat me to it, so here's an excerpt on the media's varying levels of squeamishness in reporting Rev. Jesse Jackson's desire to castrate the presumptive Democratic nominee. Why am I not surprised that AP was particularly delicate?:
So how did the media on Wednesday handle the now-infamous Rev. Jesse Jackson off-mike reference to Barack Obama while awaiting an appearance on Fox and Friends a few days ago?
The New York Times was coy: "Mr. Jackson made disparaging remarks, apparently including a crude reference to male genitalia, about how Mr. Obama was talking to black people." A later Times article cited a "vulgar reference."
But CNN.com let it all hang out, so to speak, quoting Jackson: "See, Barack's been talking down to black people ... I want to cut his nuts off."
Reuters quotes the Reverend, evermore: "I want to cut his nuts out."
The New York Post topped that, of course, putting it right in the headline: JESSE JACKSON SAYS HE WANTS TO CUT OBAMA'S 'NUTS OUT'
Huh? "Off" or "out"? USA Today's "On Politics" blog tried to address that. It quoted Jackson saying, "I want to cut his nuts off," but added, "a Fox News transcript has that last word as "out."
The Los Angeles Times' "Top of the Ticket" blog went with: "crude language."
The AP first quoted Jackson mentioning the "regretfully crude" choice of words. Later in the day it got a little more specific, citing "a slang reference to his wanting to cut off Obama's testicles."