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The Daily News' Trump S***holegate Front Page Is Super S***ty

By Published on .

Great, just what we needed after "Fire and Fury": Shitholegate.

And, for good measure, a media debate about whether to print or broadcast the word "shithole."

The Washington Post, which broke Shitholegate, went with a subdued headline on today's front page—"Immigration offer on 'dreamers' fails" followed by the subhead "Trump profanely assails some countries"—and waited until the second paragraph of its report to quote Trump's use of "shithole" sans asterisks or other censorship (e.g., "s***hole"):

President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting.

"Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.

On the web, though, the Post went with a fearlessly shitty headline: "Trump derides protections for immigrants from 'shithole' countries."

The New York Times also went with a mixed approach. The main story on its front page this morning carries the restrained headline "In Vulgar Terms, Trump Disparages Some Immigrants"—tweaked to "Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa" for the web—but uses Trump's term of art in the first sentence of its coverage:

President Trump on Thursday balked at an immigration deal that would include protections for people from Haiti and some nations in Africa, demanding to know at a White House meeting why he should accept immigrants from "shithole countries" rather than from places like Norway, according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation.

The Times being the Times, it then had to report elsewhere in the paper—on page 8 of the business section—about the un-Times-ian thing it just did on A1. Under the headline "When the President Says It, That Means That It Is Not Unprintable"—tweaked to "After Donald Trump Said It, How News Outlets Handled It" for the web—Michael M. Grynbaum writes,

Phil Corbett, the associate managing editor for standards at The New York Times, said in an email: "It seemed pretty clear to all of us that we should quote the language directly, not paraphrase it. We wanted to be sure readers would fully understand what the story was about."

The Times, unlike some papers, omitted the obscenity from its headline and push alert, using the term "vulgar language" instead. "We are still inclined to be somewhat restrained — for instance, by avoiding the actual vulgarities in headlines," Mr. Corbett said.

Grynbaum also notes that Lester Holt on last night's "NBC Nightly News" opened with a parental warning ("This may not be appropriate for some of our younger viewers"), ABC News and CBS News didn't quote the word, Fox News ran it on-screen with asterisks, and "the unexpurgated expletive appeared, in capital letters, on the graphics known as chyrons that dominate the lower portion of the screen" over at CNN and MSNBC.

How, then, should we feel about the Daily News, which doesn't use the word on its front page this morning but came up with a literally graphic take on it to slam Trump?

The logical next step, of course, is that President Trump further cuts back on his presidential duties (see Axios' "Trump's secret, shrinking schedule") and begins to spend virtually all his time in his bedroom tweeting—but, finding the English language to be increasingly taxing, switches mostly to conveying his policies graphically (i.e., plenty of the shit emoji, plus lots of flames, guns and eggplants).

Which would make the Daily News cover totally prescient.

P.S. I leave you with this, courtesy of Wonkette: "REMINDER: Doctors Examining Trump's Shithole Today At Walter Reed."

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