Did the Washington Post Censor the Boning?
Today's inevitable Washington Post feature on people who aren't on Facebook actually got a little bit interesting when it turned its attentions to Ricardo Thomas, 23. Thomas "hates typing and computers," but he does rely on more connected friends to help him Facebook stalk his ex-girlfriend. Thomas doesn't call her is ex-girlfriend, however. This is what Thomas says to reporter Ian Shapira:
"Last week, I was over at a friend's house, and he showed me a picture on Facebook of a girl I used to" date, Thomas said.
Woah! Isn't it interesting how expertly Shapira snipped that quote juuuust before Thomas was about to describe, in his own words, what he "used to" do with that girl on Facebook?
Sure, Thomas didn't necessarily employ an R-rated term for his former fling. He could have thrown out a euphemism for dating that didn't really translate in copy: "a girl I used to hang out with"; "a girl I used to see"; "a girl I used to know." Maybe Shapira was simply correcting for Thomas' loquaciousness: "a girl I used to kinda, like, take out or whatever, sometimes." Perhaps Shapira and Thomas are so close, they just finish one another's sentences!
But when Shapira steps in to insert a Post-approved relationship term in an otherwise full quote, it sure makes it look like Thomas had filled in the blank with "a girl I used to bone," "a girl I used to bang," or "a girl I used to fuck." If Thomas' terminology hadn't raised a red flag, why bother butchering the quote right in the middle of the verb?
I have an e-mail out to Shapira asking whether Thomas' description of his relationship was too hot for the Post's standards of decency. I'm trying to hunt down Thomas, but dude's not on Facebook, so if you're one of those friends who acts as his personal Internet secretary, let him know I'd like a word. Preferably a naughty one!