Boycott The New York Times!

TRIGGER WARNING: This post refers to the 45th President of the United States by name.

As some of you know, I'm the most liberal person in the entire puzzle community. In fact, I've been pro-choice ever since I was in the womb. So like many of you, I was utterly appalled when the New York Times crossword for January 9, 2018 clued the entry JOHN not as a "Toilet" or as "'Imagine' singer Lennon", but as Donald "literally Hitler" Trump's middle name. Prominent blogger Rex Parker [TRIGGER WARNING: blog post mentions sexual assault and refers to the 45th President of the United States by name — Rex neglected to put a trigger warning in his own post, which I called him out on] wrote, "Puzzle lost my good will at 1-Down [the offending JOHN clue] and never got it back, despite the fact that it's technically fine." The puzzle was fine in all other regards, but because of a single clue, it became one of the worst crosswords the NYT has ever published. And as illustrated by the Tweets cited in Rex's blog post, he's far from alone.

If this were any other President, like Barack Hussein Obama, I'd respond, "You get nausea from a middle name? For frick's sake, you need serious medical help, and I don't mean WebMD!" But Trump is different from all 44 previous Presidents, and anyone who doesn't see that either is a Nazi or has an IQ below 69.

Mr. Bloom hits the nail on the head here. The mere mention of the President's name in a crossword endorses and normalizes the far right and fascism.

Until The New York Times fires Will Shortz for the obvious gaffe of mentioning the current President's middle name in a crossword clue and hires someone else, such as the venerable Timothy Parker, I will be boycotting their crossword. Additionally, my research shows that The New York Times is not only a vendor of crossword puzzles, but a newspaper that reports the news (and has been doing so for longer than it's been publishing crosswords). Until they stop mentioning the President at all in any of their news reporting, thereby normalizing the far right, I will be boycotting everything they do. I will also boycott any other news outlet that mentions the name of the President and reports actual news instead of pretending that Hillary won in 2016 (as she should have), such as CNN and MSNBC.

Please spread the word about these boycotts. The puzzle community can affect positive change in the world, but only if we stick together.

I usually stay out of politics on this blog, but this issue is obviously too serious to ignore. There has never been a more justified negative reaction to a crossword clue in the history of crosswords, and despite what some people in Rex's comments section might say ("Okay this HAS to be a joke right? The normalization of the far right? I consider myself a democrat but the left can be embarrassing sometime. Saying the PRESIDENT'S NAME is normalizing the far right?"), we need to do everything we can to ensure this evil man's name never again appears in a crossword clue or entry.

Blog Archive