STFU Parents Once Again Deemed To Have The Acronym Too Offensive For The NYT

stfuparents_logoThe New York Times has reported on things that use the almighty F word before. They have covered Go The Fuck To Sleep and the popular website Fuck! I’m In My Twenties. But you know what they have a really hard time crediting? STFU Parents, as you can witness in the latest Real Estate Section, when discussing co-ops and strollers:

But strollers — and the parents who wield them — have become an unfortunate symbol of all that’s annoying about the modern urban parent. The sight of a mother careening down a crowded Manhattan sidewalk with a double-wide Bugaboo can rankle many a pedestrian. It seems to me that members of your co-op board might be responding with a broad stroke to a perception — real or imagined — that carriage drivers have been scuffing the elevator’s delicate walls.

“There are a lot of parents who use their strollers in a rude manner,” said Blair Koenig, who writes about frustrations with modern parenting. “The rule could be a passive-aggressive way of reacting to those specific individuals.”

Blair Koenig, who writes about frustrations with modern parenting. With no link. When she was contacted because of STFU Parents.

Now. I don’t want to get too nitpicky here, but another person who has a website was also quoted in the article and she has the link to her website displayed for all the Internets to see.  It’s amazingly bizarre because, and Blair can explain this much better than I can:

“It’s frustrating because the reasoning I’ve been given in the past is that it’s not just the acronym, but rather the content that makes the Times uncomfortable with linking to the site. I’ve pressed the ombudsman to understand why other websites, bands, or books get links (even if the ‘F’ word or acronym is taken out), and he said it’s because the Times has certain “standards.” He wrote, “For one reason, we don’t like to include such references for younger readers — or for any readers who might be offended. Granted, we aren’t the parents of young readers. But we feel some obligation to try to maintain The Times as a respectable publication and respect all of our readers.” So that’s what pisses me off the most. I receive emails from parents every day who say they love the site, and yet it seems like the Times finds the blog (and the book) too offensive — if not obscene — to link to. There’s a paradox in thinking that I’m an expert worth tapping for a quote and then not crediting my work in the story. Why quote me at all? To me, THAT is offensive! I’ve now determined that I’m just too trashy for the Times. My parents are both very proud.”

It’s shady and I find it offensive because not only am I a fan of STFU Parents, and Blair, I know how annoying it is to be quoted somewhere and not have all of your hard work acknowledged without even a teensy tiny hyperlink. And as a parent I’m not offended at all by STFU Parents or even having it spelled out to me as Shut The Fuck Up Parents, because if we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves and our identities as parents, we are pretty much screwed. They are basically censoring her because some precious parents who take this whole journey we are on WAY too seriously might get all offended by an acronym.

So there you have it. The person quoted in the NYT is Blair Koenig, who runs STFU Parents.  And the NYT should seriously STFU about this dumb rule they have with not giving her credit when it is due.

(Image: STFU Parents)

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    • Crusty Socks

      People still read the NY Times???

    • JLH1986

      So “not safe for children” and “NYT does not support or endorse Koenig’s website” can’t be used? Lame.

    • CMJ

      I’m more offended by the fact that they wrote an ENTIRE ARTICLE ABOUT MONOCLES than the word Fuck.

      • Tinyfaeri

        Yeah, that was just stupid.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Two blogs got me through my two not-so-happy-ending pregnancies a few years ago: A Little Pregnant (http://www.alittlepregnant.com/ ) archives, and STFU, Parents. They made me laugh for such different reasons, and STFU,P was the only parenting-related anything I could read for a while. It also brought me here, which is, as we all know, fabulous. Fuck the NYT, their standards for their own crap have been pretty questionable lately, so I don’t know why they feel they have the right to judge anyone else.

      • STFUParents

        :)

    • Guest

      I appreciate the NYT protecting my delicate sensibilities. Oh wait, I don’t read silly newspapers that insult their readers’ intelligence. That’s like what the Times is for, right? Oh also I don’t have stupid sensibilities.

    • Kay_Sue

      I really hate that they used Blair’s name without any way of getting people back to her site. I know they could google her name…but there’s not even a mention that she writes online, is there? So people quite possibly would have no idea that it’s a blog at all?

      I just…that’s just rude. It’s using her quote with her getting nothing out of it. Usually in a situation like this, you can expect some kind of tit for tat, you know? I mean, Nicole what’s her face gets a hyperlink, even. Ridiculous, and I am #deeplyoffended for Blair.

      • STFUParents

        Thanks, @kay_sue:disqus :)

      • Kay_Sue

        You are welcome. They are assholes. #Truth

      • bl

        It makes them look stupid too because if I didn’t know who she was I’d wonder why in the world they quoted her. “Who writes about frustrations with modern parenting” Where? In her diary? In an unsolicited email to the times about strollers?

      • Kay_Sue

        And in this context…what does that even MEAN? It could be interpreted a thousand different ways.

      • MellyG

        Exactly. The claim to be “respected” journalism, but i was taught that in ANY respected writing, you EXPLAIN our sources, not just “so i talked to suzy” – and without any reference to what she writes, and without knowing who she is, it comes across like NYT is just interviewing random women on the street.

      • STFUParents

        I was taught the same thing. The NYT loses credibility when it doesn’t provide context, but the editors are apparently more concerned with appearances. Very weird.

    • Karen Milton

      I’M OFFENDED, BLAIR. I don’t know why, but I’ll think of something and you better KNOW it’ll be your fault. So, in advance, BLAIR KOENIG IS A HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING FOR UNSPECIFIED REASONS.

      • STFUParents

        I know, I’m sorry. :(((

      • Karen Milton

        I just ran out of pretzels and one of the cats peed on my purse. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!

      • STFUParents

        My plan is working!!!

      • gothicgaelicgirl

        you do know you’re the reason baby jesus is crying right now?!
        =P

      • Momma425

        YEAH! STFU BLAIR!

    • pixie

      I have no idea how I managed to come across STFUP a couple years ago, but when I discovered it, it was one of the most glorious and magnificent things I had ever seen.

      And of course, that site led me here, so thank you @STFUParents:disqus for leading me to “meet” some of the most fantastic ladies (and men) I have had the pleasure of knowing online. Those people at the NYT should hang their heads in shame for not linking Blair’s work and allowing more people to bask in its wonderful glory.

      • STFUParents

        Thanks, @thenessymonster:disqus!

    • cabecb

      I love stfu, parents and I think it is horrible that Blair is not getting the credit she deserves. If she is good enough to ask for information, why can’t they credit her site? I don’t understand.

    • SusannahJoy

      Well, really, isn’t it the job of journalists to only present news that is unoffensive and safe for little kids to read?

    • J

      People can google her pretty easily. I’d say it’s still press even without the link. STFU parents is a bit confrontational (the comments more so than the author) so if it’s not essential to the story I can see a writer opting not to deal with potential angry reader if it can be avoided.

      • STFUParents

        To me, there’s no context without attribution, and anyone who’s gone to journalism school recognizes that as poor journalism. Best to leave the quote out than to quote without context. No one should need to rely on a search engine to gain perspective on a source.

      • STFUParents

        Also, FWIW, the reporter intended to include the blog name and a link. Her editor made the changes. And I assure you, the chances of someone googling my name and going to the site are slim. Sadly!

    • Katia

      Well you could stop giving them quotes if you don’t like them not helping you promote your site. I feel like its a branding decision and the nyt doesn’t want to be associated with a site that
      1. Has the f word in its name
      2. Is sarcastic/dramatic/condescending in tone
      3. Of which most content is based on mocking people, with examples provided by the “friends” of those being mocked

      I enjoy some of the stfu parents articles I see on mommyish, but doesn’t an elite branded publication like the nyt have to draw the line somewhere?

      • WriterLady

        My reaction to this:

        1.) It’s already been established that the New York Times has published the word “fuck” any number of times. They also have published other swear words, as well as graphic sexual and violent content.
        2.) The opinion/editorial section of NYT is chock-full of articles that are sarcastic and condescending in tone. “Drama” is a staple of op/ed articles (as the genre would fade into history without the controversial elements present in such pieces), so that’s a non-issue. See the following for a prime example of snarkiness and condescension in a NYT piece discussed in Slate (yes, it’s an older example…there are plenty more to cite, but we don’t really have the space for that): http://www.slate.com/articles/life/roiphe/2012/02/the_new_york_times_condescends_to_single_moms_.html
        3.) STFU Parents is hardly the only site to mock individuals, businesses, and other entities for their poor judgment or sanctimonious behavior. I regularly read HuffPost, ThinkProgress, Slate, Salon, and Buzzfeed articles that shame people and organizations on a regular basis. I would have to write a book-length response to provide specific examples of the articles I’m referring to. I would venture to say that the majority deserve it, because they have done something worthy of the shaming. There are unfair accusations, to be sure…such are the dangers of both print and televised journalism. As for the “examples” from STFU you allude to, this is the only leg of your argument that holds substantial weight. However, the names are always blurred out, allowing people to remain anonymous. I sometimes think it goes too far, but I doubt that anyone’s reputation is directly harmed. And, once again, STFU is hardly the only site to do this. Many well-known, highly trafficked sites do the exact same thing.

        The NYT is a well-respected publication. I enjoy reading many of their articles, too. But there is a level of hypocrisy here that just doesn’t sit well with me (an outsider who has nothing to benefit from by offering my opinion). Here is my guesstimation as to the snub: Because the NYT is a rather elite publication catering to a significant degree to the type of wealthy, arrogant, and occasionally corrupt people that are discussed in STFU Parents, profiling the owner of STFU and adding a link could potentially expose the not-so-squeaky clean behavior and distasteful, smug attitudes of NYT’s readership. NYT has every right to turn down the offer to promote the blog, but let’s keep the true rationale behind this decision in perspective.

        Disclaimer: I do not mean to insinuate that ALL NYT readers who are wealthy are arrogant or corrupt. This is only meant to point out a segment of the readership that would be offended by such commentary (and this website) for the sole reason that they know deep-down that they are guilty on all accounts.

      • CMJ

        Yes…MONOCLES.