Editor's Note: Lots and lots of bad words.
Yesterday President Trump allegedly referred to El Salvador, Haiti, and various African Nations as "Shitholes." President Trump denied using the word, but Democrat Dick Durbin crossed his heart and hoped to die that Trump did use the word. Trump then said he used the "sentiment," and then Republicans backed up that sentiment but said that Trump did not specifically use that word.
Whether he said it or not, an interesting thing happened yesterday. CNN used the word a "minimum of 36 times" in reporting the story. Now I hate defending Trump, it makes me itch, but he said whatever he said in a closed door meeting. Trump didn't use the term in an official speech or in an on-the-record capacity. How many of us curse behind the curtain of the public part of our job? Probably 90% of us.
If Trump read this article (Swearing More Is Actually A Sign Of Having A Better Vocabulary, Study Finds), he would probably brag that he did swear. If you think Trump is the first President to swear in a behind the scenes meeting with Congress, you're not just naive, you are stupid.
If you want to argue that his sentiment is dangerous, I'll listen to that argument. But what happened next was the media creating, well, a shitstorm.
All the articles came out....
Haiti is a shithole - The Federalist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Daily Caller, etc.
Haiti is NOT a shithole - Mother Jones, Washington Post, The News and Observer, etc.
Anderson Cooper nearly cried thinking about the alleged comments....
The news cycle was awash in a hot button issue spinning in a dozen different directions, but what was amazing to me, as a writer at a Free Speech site, is now we have a new word we're allowed to use during discourse.
Click on photo to consider making a charitable donation to Haiti.
On June 20, 2001, Comedy Central's animated hit South Park aired the episode "It Hits the Fan." A little counter on the corner of the screen rolled everytime a character said "shit" or a closely spoken derivative. By the end of the episode, the counter logged over 150 mentions, and the word shit was written on screen another couple of dozen times, making nearly 200 references total in a half hour episode. Or some shit or another every 8-10 seconds....
Despite broadcasting a record-setting amount of profanity, little controversy was stirred by the transmission- Stolen shit, right from Wiki.
In one night, Comedy Central had seemingly changed community standards in America. South Park wasn't Network TV, but it was basic cable, and I remember watching It Hits the Fan when it first aired. Because I was an adult, and South Park was rated TV-MA, and I had seen a few R-rated movies in my day, I didn't think things had changed that much....
But when I was a kid, I had never heard the word penis on TV, like, ever. Even when I was a young adult, it was just never uttered over the airwaves. I was a male, so I knew what a penis was, and I had heard the word in just about every context imaginable, but I never heard it on TV. Then in 1993, Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband John's Penis, then, all of a sudden, every news station in America was giddy and giggled at the salacious nature of the crime.
"I sorry (fellow newscaster), what did you say she cut off?"
<tee hee> "His penis."
I heard the word penis more times on June 24, 1993 newscasts than I had heard in one day before or since. Every once in a while, you still hear the word penis on TV, but I remember the day that the broadcasting contexts had changed.
Which circles us back to today. One word has set the Western World afire.
Have I ever said anything bad about Haiti? Oh heck yeah! I don't even deny it. I don't think I used Trump's verbiage, but Haiti is horrible. Who's fault is that? Well Reason said: If You Think Haiti Is a Shithole, Then Blame America for Helping to Make It That Way.
Today we got a lesson on the power of language and the power of the media.