After Rick Santorum went after the New York Times’s Jeff Zeleny and then said on Fox News that “you’re not really a real Republican” unless you’ve cursed out a reporter, the Chicago Tribune’s Rex Huppke told readers that “I’m offering myself up as the lone media representative to abuse.” He wrote:
I will be more than happy to hear from anyone who feels they need to swear at a member of the news media. Furthermore, I will provide anyone who cusses me out with an e-mailed Confirmation of Media Profanitication, guaranteed to prove to friends and family alike that you are a really real Republican or Democrat.
So what kind of reaction did he get?
Huppke tells Romenesko readers:
I’ve only gotten three voicemails – all containing some good-natured profanity. But there has been a slew of e-mail – 40 or so – giving me the business, though again it was in a “we get the joke” fashion. Nothing outright mean.
I’ve sent everyone some version of the following response:
GENUINE CONFIRMATION OF PROFANITICATION
By the power vested in me as member of the loathsome press, let it be known that the bearer of this extremely official document has successfully hurled a profanity at a member of the news media and is hereby and forevermore declared a really real (Democrat/Republican/Independent/Other).
Signed with extreme bias,
- Rex W. Huppke, Chicago Tribune