PITTSBURGH, PA - Bowing to decorum and the wishes of publisher John Robinson Block, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette removed the word "s---hole" from an Associated Press story describing President Trump's alleged use of the term.
The newspaper was one of the few media outlets across the country to censor the president describing African nations and Haiti as "s---hole countries" in a meeting in which he rejected a bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
A White House spokesman did not deny the president's use of the term Thursday evening but Trump did Friday via Twitter. "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used," the president tweeted. One senator in the meeting, Dick Durbin of Illinois, on Friday said the president was being untruthful in denying he used that language. Durbin said he heard Trump use the word repeatedly.
On Thursday, the Post-Gazette took the unusual step of alerting its readers via Twitter that "Our publisher is requesting us to remove @realDonaldTrump's "vulgar language" from the lede in our @AP story about his vulgar language."
Many of the responses to the tweet were critical of the paper's decision.
"Tell them you'll stop printing `shithole' when the president stops saying it," one person tweeted. Stated another: "Don't remove it. People need to see what their president is saying, no matter how vulgar."
As of Friday afternoon, the word was back in the lede in the newspaper's online edition. The Post-Gazette did not immediately tweet an explanation for the seeming reversal of Block's wishes.
The Washington Post, which broke the story and put the vulgarity in its headline, reported that most newspaper and national TV outlets didn't shy away from using the actual word in their stories. CNN and MSNBC repeated the word in capital letters on the scrolling headlines at the bottom of the screen. Fox News used asterisks to censor the word. The New York Times didn't use the word in its headline, but did in its story.
In explaining the Post's decision to publish the word, editor Martin Barron said, "When the president says it, we'll use it verbatim. That's our policy."
The New York Daily News also used asterisks but hardly could be accused of self-censorship on the controversy:
.@realDonaldTrump takes a dump on the American dream An early look at Friday's front: https://t.co/1Wj57JecKC pic.twitter.com/MmOW4VUIMx
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) January 12, 2018
The Post-Gazette tweet to readers:
Our publisher is requesting us to remove @realDonaldTrump's "vulgar language" from the lede in our @AP story about his vulgar language.
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (@PittsburghPG) January 12, 2018
Trump photo via Associated Press.
Source : https://patch.com/pennsylvania/pittsburgh/pittsburgh-newspaper-removes-trump-vulgarity-story