Hooray! My latest column is out.
My editor originally had as the article's headline: "What Comes Every Seven Seconds?" But then he decided against it, fearing that a higher-up would take issue.
Because I have the word "sex" in the article, it runs the risk of garnering an utterly random viewer complaint. Journalists, for all their blustering about things like integrity and responsibility, are pussies who will crumble at the first sign of criticism. As such, any nutcase who knows how to send an e-mail or operate a telephone can get a whole building full of college-educated adults to run around in a full hysteria simply by complaining.
The No. 1 rule to dealing with complaints in television news (and, by extension, TV news-based websites) is this: panic.
Do not fact-check the complaint, do not make an evaluation of the validity of the complaint, just panic. After a good deal of panicking and yelling at people who may or may not have culpability, the standard operating procedure is to then make some sort of ridiculous decree. Ideally, with this decree you want to set up impractical operating procedures, or editorial standards that are at once impossibly narrow and wholly undefined.
So Adam (who is a huge UT fan, by the way) decided to avoid all this and go with a less suggestive headline.
"I'm already putting about a 65 percent chance of (our higher-up) talking to me about it," Adam said. "I don't want to throw 'come' in her face."
While my solitary use of the word "sex" may serve to be the verbal Samson to your moral Temple of Dagon, I still think the column is probably one of my better ones in a while.