New York Times Drops F-Bomb For The First Time

Between Taylor Swift and the New York Times, Sunday brought the F-bomb back in style.

The New York Times, dignified media bastion that is, has until now flat-out refused to say 'fuck.' Its senior standards editor (let's take a moment to imagine exactly what that job entails) has defended the paper's non-use of the F-bomb, saying: "We feel some obligation to try to maintain the Times as a respectable publication, and respect all of our readers.”

So, we don't really know what this means: inside the paper's T magazine, buried at the very end as part of a book extract, the paper finally broke its strict policy and said: Fuck it.

Well, kinda. The sentence they decided to break ground with is as follows:

"Quit fucking black cops or get booted from the Communist party."

It's the opening of a novel entitled Dissident Gardens, by Jonathan Lethem. That section of T doesn't go up online, meaning if you look for it on the Times website, you won't find it. So what does this mean for the Times? A self-styled liberation, a move towards a Hobbesian anarchic period, or a really bad copy editor?

Responded Lethem, in an email to Salon:

I’m delighted. If I’d had the foresight to make it one of my life’s aspirations, I’d have done so. Instead it lands as dumb luck. My U.K. friend Dan Fox pointed out that it puts me with John Cleese, the first person to say ‘shit’ on the BBC.”

The Times has said nothing yet, presumably because they're busy yelling "fuckhead!" at the copy editor that was hungover Saturday.