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All The News That's "Fit"


Seems there's a new Canadian film that's going to be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival called Young People Fucking ... but you won't read about that in the Toronto Star because, as Public Editor Kathy English puts it , "F--- is a word newspapers generally don't print. The Star's current policy regarding obscenities stipulates that swear words must not be used, except in direct quotations. Even then, we are supposed to use only the first letter, followed by dashes, as I've done in this column."

"Are we being prudish, old-fashioned or even, as some journalists in the Star newsroom argue, censoring art in deciding not to spell out the proper name of this movie?" English continues. "I don't think so. Rather, this decision is about respect for Star readers who invite us into their homes. Many of you still regard the f-word as an offensive taboo word and do not want to see it printed in your daily newspaper."

That sort of logic burns my butt. What this "public editor" is saying is that "some people" (religious fundamentalists, mostly) are so appalled at seeing the word "fucking" - a word which English admits she's "heard ... many times over (and admittedly, have uttered it on occasion, too)" and "suspect[s] most readers can report the same about your own workplaces" - but despite the ubiquity of the word, on the off-chance that some reader will be offended, English thinks it's okay to bend reality by substituting dashes for the word itself ... and because the Toronto Star is a "family newspaper," Editor-in-Chief Fred Kuntz "ruled this week against a request by the Star's entertainment department to alter our obscenity policy in order to print the full movie title."

Consider the full irony of this: The man who's decreed that his paper won't print "fucking" is Fred ... Kuntz.







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