Notepad on Life

April 24, 2012

In re-defining Santorum, Irish Times redefines ‘squalid’

Filed under: Journalism,politics — - @ 12:26 am
Tags: ,

Worried about getting old in the workplace? Become a journalist.

While yesterday’s men in many sectors of the economy must make do with taking more of a back seat in the face of changing technology and wave upon wave of young turks, it looks like the boot may be on the other foot where the print media is concerned.

Journalists born before 1975, see, generally know how to spell. Just look through any written-word media these days and you’ll soon pick up on how much of a dying art that has become.

But there’s another thing that should make veteran hacks more, not less valuable as time goes on. Many ‘old school’ guys also know the meaning of “fit to print”, namely that there’s tittle-tattle and then there’s stuff actually worth writing about.

Now there’s a blurred line for you in 2012. Reading Donald Clarke‘s sarcastic lament as Rick Santorum abandoned his run for the White House, I had to keep checking the masthead to make sure that it really was the Irish Times that was running this piece and had decided that the following amounted to worthy op-ed in a quality newspaper:

“Hats are doffed to the gay activists who managed to make [Santorum’s] surname a neologism for the damp residue that remains after a particular sexual practice has taken place. (Look it up yourself. I can’t be bothered to reply sarcastically to the complaints a fuller definition would trigger.)”

If you missed the gem of wit that gave rise to this tribute, I’m genuinely sorry to have to enlighten you. Particularly if you’re eating. It is important to spell it out, though, just so you are aware of the level of inspired discourse that floats Clarke’s boat.

Someone aparently decided that taking apart Santorum’s politics with reasoned debate and counter-argument was too tame  – what was really needed was for his surname to become a widely-used synonym for the mixture of lubricant and faecal matter that remains following anal sex.

Yep, you heard me right.

There was a time, of course, when puerility as debased as this was confined to the playground, to be mercifully lost in the breeze after a few guffaws among half-wits. Nowadays, alas, the playground is known as the Internet. This stuff gets written down and enjoys a longevity vastly disproportionate to its merit, among people who park their minds in the gutter.

To see this pathetic titbit given fresh life in a paper of the Irish Times status (“hats are doffed”!? Is the man out of his mind?) begs two questions. This Donald Clarke is over the age of 15, I take it? And who among his superiors actually cast an eye over this revolting paragraph and thought, “fit to print”?

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