Thursday, October 20, 2005

Delicate sensibilities

Amazing. The cable news channels show the burning corpses of dead Taliban and yet won't use the word "crapped."

Imagine the editorial agonizing over this.

A FEMA public affairs officer, Marty Bahamonde was sent to New Orleans in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Katrina and wound up being the only FEMA representative in the city when the storm hit. In the SuperDome. Frantically text messaging FEMA officials. From his handheld BlackBerry.

And in one of the messages, Bahamonde used the word "crapped." But sensitive viewers were spared because the news writers replaced the word with the bracketed euphemism "[went to the bathroom]."

This is the original text message, BlackBerry-ed from the dark and stinking SuperDome.
OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! No won't go any furthr, too easy of a target. Just tell her that I just ate an MRE and crapped in the hallway of the Superdome along with 30,000 other close friends so I understand her concern about busy restaurants. Maybe tonight I will have the time to move the pebbles on the parking garage floor so they don't stab me in the back while I try to sleep, but instead I will hope her wait at Ruth Christ is short. But I know she is stressed so I won't make a big deal about it and you shouldn't either.
Why the exasperation? Well, in addition to the fact that the situation was getting desperate in the SuperDome, Bahamonde had received this message about scheduling arrangements for then-FEMA Director Mike Brown's appearance on that evening's "Scarborough Country."
Please schedule Joe Scarborough this evening for 9 pm CST period. Spoke with his producer and told him to call you. Mr. Brown wants to do this one.

Also, it is very important that time is allowed for Mr. Brown to eat dinner. Given that Baton Rouge is back to normal, restaurants are getting busy. He needs much more than 20 or 30 minutes. We now have traffic to encounter to get to and from a location of his choice, followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you.

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