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Dec 16 / Jonathan

Effing Economist

No bleeps for The Economist, which gleefully quotes the unexpurgated complaint against Blago.

Corruption in Illinois

Few expected the 76-page complaint against Mr Blagojevich to present such a feast of bad behaviour. “Fire those fuckers,” he said of those who wrote critical editorials about him at the Chicago Tribune, and threatened to hurt the paper financially if it did not oblige. “If they don’t perform, fuck ’em”, he said of an effort to squeeze contributions from a state contractor. But the most stunning charge is that Mr Blagojevich, who can appoint a nominee to hold Mr Obama’s seat in the Senate until the scheduled election is held in 2010, wanted to sell the seat to the highest bidder. (The governor called the seat “a fucking valuable thing, you don’t just give it away for nothing” and is alleged to have sought to get a big job in return for it.)

Geoff Pullum says it’s for the best, and that the US media shouldn’t let Blago off the fucking hook.

Americans don’t think well of people who talk like this when they have important roles in public life. That means that a small additional offense by such individuals may go unnoticed: their hypocrisy in being elected on fair words and clean talk and then relaxing into a very different foul-mouthed persona once in the job. By censoring even mentions of the taboo vocabulary of such hypocrites, the mainstream press helps to protect them. Less of the evidence of what they’re like gets out there.

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