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The lead story on the New York Post‘s website a little before 9 a.m. on Tuesday was headlined “Osama bin Laden ‘died like a pussy.’ ” After 9 a.m., the headline became “Osama bin Laden ‘died like a wimp.’ ”
As a tipster pointed out to media blogger Jim Romensko, the URL initially stayed the same. When that person checked back later in the day, that too had been changed.
(We will point out that http://nypost.com/2014/11/10/osama-bin-laden-died-like-a-pussy/ now redirects to the changed page, but http://nypost.com/2014/11/10/osama-bin-laden-died-like-a-pussy does not.)
“As a Web editor myself I can tell you that changing the URL, even more than changing the hed, indicates that this was a BFD [big fucking deal] internally, because if you change your URL you lose lots of inbound Google News traffic,” the tipster said via email. “I’ll close by noting that the point is that even the NY Post apparently has words which they will not print. Whoever wrote that hed and whoever runs the site found that out today.”
That’s one take on it…although maybe it should be: “Even the NY Post apparently has words which they will publish but later scrub.” It’s also possible the article’s title was changed because readers are less likely to share stories with explicit curse words in the headline on social media.
We are fond of a third theory: that some hapless editor just forgot to consult their New York Post-to-English dictionary when crafting the headline. Maybe “wimp” is just Post-speak for “pussy,” the same way “straphanger” is for “commuter,” “jiggle joint” is to “strip club,” “tot” is for “baby,” “thug” is to “minority male.”
We called and emailed the Post to inquire about the changes, but we have yet to hear back. Pussies.