Are the F-Bombs Getting Worse Here at Mother Jones? An Exclusive Investigation.

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Apropos of my suggested response this morning to the most obnoxious kinds of gotcha questions, David Bailey writes in comments:

Recommended answer: “Oh, go fuck yourself.”

This is off-topic, and I may not be the first to bring it up, but it seems as if Kevin’s posts have been a bit saltier recently. I have a hard time believing he would have written this a year ago.

Not complaining or criticizing, but I just thought it was interesting.

Come on. This was an homage to Dick Cheney, people! Do our schools teach nothing these days?

But am I, in fact, using the word fuck more often than in the past? This is surprisingly difficult to get a handle on. The problem is that my readers are all such potty mouths. According to Google, there have been 6,330 F-bombs on this blog since its move to Mother Jones, but as near as I can tell, 6,314 of them have been from commenters. Still, that leaves 16 for me. Let’s tot them up.

It turns out that David is right: I’ve already set a new personal best this year. At my current rate I’ll double my previous most obscene year (2010). The deeply researched chart on the right tells the tale, and as a personal favor to Swami Bhut Jolokia, I’ve even labeled the y-axis.

In my defense, I should point out that this total represents only about 0.15 percent of my blog posts, an average of just a bit over two per year. Not bad! What’s more, many of those were quotes of illustrious public servants like Dick Cheney. Still, I admit that if it were solely up to me these numbers would be far higher. However, (a) I know that casual F-bombs can put people off, and (b) my mother reads this blog. So I try to stay family-friendly most of the time.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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