What does it mean when the daily paper of record drops the f-bomb?
Long the domain of alternative weeklies, “fucking” has never appeared in print in the Las Vegas Review-Journal before, but it did March 12 in an otherwise sober story on a legal tangle pitting the city of Henderson against the would-be developer of federal land. Bob Abbey, former director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, used the word to emphasize his opinion of city officials.
“At the end of the day, I am hopeful the good citizens of Henderson will realize they have fucking idiots working for them and that they will show up at the polls to elect officials who are worthy of representing that community’s interest,” Abbey said in a statement emailed to the RJ.
Mike Hengel, RJ editor, said he has fielded four calls from readers surprised to see the word.
“It wasn’t just an off-the-cuff thing,” he said. “It was a former federal official talking about other elected officials.”
Hengel said there was very little discussion before approving the use of the word. He received an evening call from the deputy business editor explaining the circumstances, and Hengel approved it. It wasn’t the first time he’s gotten such a call.
“Every other time, I said no.”
Don’t expect it to fucking happen again. (See what we did there?)
“This is the first time I can recall in my 37 years [in journalism] that I’ve used it, and I can probably go another 37 years before using it again,” Hengel said.
The RJ is owned by Stephens Media, which also pulls our strings.