Mitt Romney's travelling campaign spokesman Rick Gorka will be taking some time away after he got so frustrated at reporters that he exclaimed, "kiss my ass," and what's entertaining to us about this sabbatical is that it extends the time "family newspapers" will write about the incident without actually writing about the incident.
Reporters were pretty annoyed at the dearth of opportunities they had to ask Mitt Romney questions on his trip abroad, and so as they flung questions at him from afar in Poland -- deep questions like "What about your gaffes?" Gorka responded to a spate of these questions with, "Kiss my ass. This is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect," and later told a Politico writer "shove it." Romney is once again travelling but a Romney aide told the press Thursday that Gorka was "taking some time off the trail," presumably to squeeze a stress ball or do some yoga or practice counting to 10 in his head or something.
To the extent that this is news at all, it is news centered on a specific use of profanity, which means it's difficult for columnists and newspaper reporters to tell their readers about it. ABC's headline reporting the time off reads, "Romney’s ‘Kiss My…’ Spokesman Takes Time Off Campaign Trail." The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer writes, "Rick Gorka suggested that the reporters kiss his posterior." And in recent days, other obfuscations have been all over the map. New York Times Opinion editor Andrew Rosenthal isn't very brave. "I’m too prissy to print his words on this blog." Maureen Dowd says, "Rick Gorka shot back crudely that the press should kiss a part of his anatomy." Our problem with this fill-in-the-blank game, is that it probably conjures up obscene options for readers that the clichéd idiom "kiss my ass" would not. At any rate, this is all a bit better than the time George W. Bush called a Times reporter a "major league asshole" and the Washington Times referred to it as a "rectal aperture." Progress, people!
Update: Gorka's coming back in a week, for the record.