Withdrawal Symptoms

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
July 29 2005 1:23 PM

Withdrawal Symptoms

(Continued from Page 1)

"[T]his all could be a way for Pataki to ease himself into the vice-presidential sweepstakes for 2008," suggestsThe Yonkers Citizen. "Due to the reality of a heavy conservative influence on the GOP Presidential race, a squishy Rockefeller Republican has little chance to get the nomination. But if a real conservative runs and gets the nod, that person could look to Georgie to balance out the ticket."

Read more about Pataki's prospects here.

Conturdversy: Several newspaper editors complained about a Doonesbury comic strip that involved President Bush calling adviser Karl Rove by his real-life pet nickname, "Turd Blossom." Some papers, including the Kansas City Star, pulled or edited the comic, which is created by Garry Trudeau. Read the strips in question here and here.

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"The hypocrisy in this move should be immediately clear to most Americans," writes Matt at Philadelphia hodgepodge The Tattered Coat. "Beyond the fact that intelligent readers would be able to differentiate between the provenance of a comic strip and an editorial, Garry Trudeau did not make up the name 'Turd Blossom.' The term comes directly from the President of the United States. ... So, when an editor of an American paper decides that the term 'Turd Blossom' is 'in bad taste,' he is providing a direct critique of President Bush's lapsed moral values."

Branding blog Snark Hunting thinks the story was overblown, noting that out of 1,400 papers that carry the strip, less than 1 percent objected to it: "So why is this really a story? Because America loves a good poop joke." Daniel Solove at group blog PrawfsBlawg * agreed that the offending word was rather tame. "Since when is 'turd' is a four-letter word?" asks the law professor. "I guess since always, but now in more ways than one. I can think of many terms for Karl Rove, and 'Turd Blossom' is much nicer than any of them."

Read more about the Doonesbury controversy here.

Correction, July 29: The article orginally misspelled PrawfsBlawg as PrawfsBlog. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

Laurel Wamsley, a former Slate intern, is a writer living in Washington, D.C.

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