Is it possible to milk this WaPo Style Section Intergenerational Fistfight for Journalism Glory for one more day? Most certainly! Because now one of the combatants' colleagues has raised the issue that others were too smart to raise: Homosexual hatred.
Near-retiree Washington Post editor Henry Allen punched writer Manuel Roig-Franzia in the face after Roig-Franzia called him a "cocksucker." Hank Steuver, a WaPo colleague whose editor is Allen, thinks the man may have some issues:
What made Henry snap was that a writer called him a naughty word, an epithet that rhymes with "coughstucker" and is playfully or spitefully reserved as a way to insult a man, by implying he's gay.
Being an enthusiastic coughstucker myself, I would someday like to ask Henry if it was the insulting delivery of the word, or the subtext of gayness that the word implies that angered him most?...Was it about the person who said it? The way he said it? Or that it was said at all? If another person in Style called me a coughstucker, I'd just have to shrug and use the Popeye retort: I am what I am.
You're totally missing the point, Hank. Imagine how you would feel if someone called you a vagina sucker! It's a slur because it was meant to be a slur. Why not ask Manuel why in the world he would use "cocksucker" as anything less than a term of endearment? Outrageous! A slur is not rendered moot to the average testosterone-filled male simply because it's true. I may be ugly, but I don't want it pointed out to me.
[And be sure to watch that dramatic re-enactment video of the fight, performed by Washington City Paper employees. A+. It does make Henry Allen appear somewhat unstable though! Via Romenesko]