‘Dumb F*ckers’ vs. ‘Director of Butt Licking’: Battle of the Student Newspaper Slips

In the immediate aftermath of the recent “dumb f*ckers” student newspaper snafu, a number of individuals within collegemediatopia mentioned that it reminded them of another high-profile, vulgar slip more than 15 years before.

In the late 1990s, The Collegiate Times at Virginia Tech University published a story that included a pull-quote using the words of a VT administrator.  Yet, instead of her actual title, she was identified at the end of the quote as a “Director of Butt Licking.”  The administrator sued for libel, claiming the description was “defamatory because it implied ‘the commission of a crime involving moral turpitude.'”

The suit didn’t pan out.  The CT editor-in-chief at the time said the paper had the phrase in its layout dummy copy and someone forgot to change it when creating the pull-quote.  In the story, the administrator’s title is correct.  Afterward, the paper started using question marks in its dummy copy, instead of words.

The more recent incident occurred in a headline run in The Suffolk Journal at Suffolk University.  For a story about a Winter Involvement Fair, the main headline simply dubs the event a success (with an exclamation point).  The sub-hed, however, states: “Even we had some dumb fuckers sign up!

What do you think?  Which slip is worse?

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  1. […] ‘Dumb F*ckers’ vs. ‘Director of Butt Licking’: Battle of the Student Newspaper Slips […]

  2. […] “‘Dumb F*ckers’  Vs. ‘Director Of Butt Licking’: Battle Of The Student Newsp…,” by Dan Reimold at College Media Matters: For all of the college newspapers out there (and really for all writers in general), here is a case-in-point of why proofreading and copy editing are vital (despite the implied humor). […]