06/14/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

True/Slant Cautions Writers Against Name-Calling

True/Slant is cracking down on name-calling -- or at least name-calling that's not sufficiently Proustian -- according to a memo sent out by editorial director, Coates Bateman. Gawker has the memo, here. Here's my favorite part:

To wit, calling someone a 'piece of shit' isn't welcome within the network.

I think we/you can be more creative than that.

Whoever could Bateman be talking about? Well, these people, as it turns out:

David Rees, March 1, 2009, "Senator Jim Bunning Halloween Costume":

Gigantic muscle arms on a gigantic piece of shit, sold with a red bandana. One size- fits most.

Matt Taibbi, July 28, 2009, "The Health Care Bill Dies?"

It's been clear from the start that the Democrats would make a great show of doing something real, then they would fold prematurely, ram through some piece-of-shit bill with some incremental/worthless change in it, and then in the end blame everything on Max Baucus and Bill Nelson, saying, "By golly, we tried our best!"

Brian Donovan, November 18, 2009, "Give the Gift of Crap: Omaha Steaks":

It was the highlight of my day, knowing that no matter what else went wrong I could send a piece of terrible steak to meet its maker at dinner. It was freeing I tell you, and word started to spread.

Matt Taibbi, March 10, 2010, "Rush On 'Massa'":

It's more that Rush is such an intellectually lazy piece of shit who's been on dumbly racist autopilot for so long that he literally can't avoid making a dumb, unfunny black-baiting joke when the opportunity is shoved in front of his face.

John Knefel, March 21, 2010, "Several Republicans condone racial and homophobic epithets hurled at Democrats":

This Steve King, man. What a piece of shit. And then there's also this other real piece of shit named Devin Nunes who's a Representative from California who actually finds the protesters' behavior justified...

Molly Knefel, March 23, 2010, "Cosmo sex tips: don't try them at home":

Any girl with a level head on her shoulders has had that moment in her life where she realized that Cosmopolitan magazine is a lying, manipulative piece of shit.

I don't know! It sure doesn't look like True/Slant is having some sort of widespread "piece of shit" problem, other than the fact that there seems to be an incidental uptick in its usage last month. But anyone who has a more artful way of conveying the phrase "piece of shit" should do so in the comments.

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