Oliver Burkeman interviews New York Times reporter Mosi Secret, who wrote about a strip club in his debut on the paper’s new sin-and-vice beat.
The Times is notoriously prudish; it regularly ties itself in linguistic knots to avoid using profanity, and only opted to call Pussy Riot by its name after internal brow-furrowing. So Secret’s 2,400-word account of activities at the Bliss Bistro – to which he gained access on condition that he wouldn’t reveal the surnames of anyone involved – seemed decidedly un-Timesian. (A number of readers complained.) And yet in other ways it was very Timesian indeed, as when Secret wrote of “Tony”, the club’s manager: “Many of the details he shared that day, like his account of selling large quantities of heroin, could not be independently verified.” No shit, as the Times wouldn’t say.