If you’ve been on the internet this afternoon—and not under a rock or something—I’m sure you’ve by now seen the news (and I use that word loosely) that the Vice President was caught on an open-mic dropping the F-bomb to his boss at the White House’s health care signing ceremony. (If you want to see and hear the clip, Mediaite has a pretty clear version.)
The New York Times, a family newspaper, described the event with a winning and surely half-winking circumlocution:
At the end of his introduction of the president, Mr. Biden, who is well known for ad-libbing to the point of getting him in a little trouble, turned to Mr. Obama, embraced him and elaborated on the historic nature of the day.
“Mr. President, this is a big … deal,” he said, adding an adjective between big and deal, that begins with ‘f.’
Well done! This is not the first time I’ve been impressed with the Times’s efforts to avoid said adjective.Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.