UPDATE AT END OF POST: Ari Fleischer responds to accusation Milbank made about him in this segment.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank made an interesting observation Sunday about the vulgarity prominent in the current presidential administration.
Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, Milbank said, "The number of F-bombs being dropped by this White House, scholars are going to look in the national archives in 20 or 30 years and they're going to be shocked by the language that was coming out of this place" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Is there an expectation in this Democratic White House that if you are granted access they expect you to kind of play ball?
DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST: Well, that part of it is true in any White House. There's always this sort of implied quid pro quo that you trade access for good coverage, and it doesn't always work out that way, but that's what they try to do. I don't think that the idea of them getting in faces is particularly new or unusual.
KURTZ: Even if it's right in your face?
MILBANK: I actually once had to clean Ari Fleischer's spittle from my face. This was the Bush White House press secretary.
KURTZ: I have that image.
MILBANK: Yes, I haven’t had to do that here. I think what is different it seems, it's more course. It’s more vulgar. Maybe this is how everybody is these days, but the number of F-bombs being dropped by this White House, scholars are going to look in the national archives in 20 or 30 years and they're going to be shocked by the language that was coming out of this place.
KURTZ: Oh, I'm shocked that such words would be used in this kind of discourse.
Make you wonder if Milbank is going to lose his own access to this White House for saying this.
Regardless, his point is an important one given the continuing increase in vulgarity we're seeing in the culture.
The President and his staff are indeed role models, and when they're regularly dropping F-bombs and using other vulgar terms, it shouldn't be surprising that profanity is becoming so dominent in society and at a younger and younger age.
As such, kudos to Milbank for calling the White House out on this.
*****Update: Ari Fleischer responded by email to the accusation Milbank made about him saying, "Dana and I clashed regularly, but today his imagination got the better of him."