What’s the Deal?

Naughty word in the news today.

Reports cbsnews.com:

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) channeled his frustrations with Goldman Sachs witnesses at a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing today by repeatedly invoking an e-mail containing the phrase “shitty deal” over a ten minute period….

This, under the less-graphic headline, “Levin Repeatedly References Sh**ty Deal.”

It’s a four-star situation over at washingtonpost.com, which has Levin referring to the “s****y deal,” beneath the headline, “Levin quotes expletive” (accompanying a video in which “expletive” can be heard loud and clear).

Newsweek.com went with “s - - tty,” in both headline and article.

And nytimes.com, as it does, stayed vague with “vulgar.” From the Times’s Dealbook’s live blog:

Mr. Levin reads an e-mail that was sent on June 22, 2007, from Tom Montag to Mr. Sparks that refers to Timberwolf as bad deal, using a vulgar term.


Mr. Levin says Goldman continued to sell Timberwolf after that e-mail. Mr. Sparks says he does not recall. Mr. Levin uses the vulgar term referring to the deal many more times.

When the “vulgar term” came up again later in the hearing, the Times changed it up a bit:

Ms. Collins echoes Mr. Levin’s remarks on the bad smell around Goldman’s deals, even if they are found to have been legal. She says that “even legal practices may raise ethical concerns.”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.