MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie walked right into ass territory this morning on the “The Daily Rundown” with co-host Chuck Todd. But she thought about it and justified saying it.
“If the President can say it, so can I,” Guthrie said, launching into discussion of NBC’s Matt Lauer’s interview with President Obama in which Lauer asked the President if this wasn’t a time to “kick some butt.” Obama turned butt into ass: “We talk to these folks because they potentially had the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick, right?” Obama told Lauer.
Some political reporters on Capitol Hill also engaged in “ass” talk this afternoon in interviews with ordinarily stuffy politicians.
Todd Zwillich, a Capitol Hill radio reporter for “The Takeaway,” tweeted: “Reporter asks McConnell if he’s looking for someone’s “ass to kick” at oil companies. No answer. #oilspill”
That reporter who said “ass” was The Daily Caller‘s Jon Ward.
Ward also tweeted on his ass usage, saying, “I just asked Mitch McConnell if he was looking for ass to kick re oil spill. He was speechless, then said ‘Its hard to improve on that.'”
Zwillich, who was in the gallery during Ward’s ass question, said, “He totally said “ass”. It was like third grade, everyone giggled.”
Zwillich informed me that Don Stewart, Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s (R-Ky.) press secretary, (a.k.a. @StewSays) is fond of reminding reporters that “ass” is okay to say because it’s in the Bible. As in, Jesus rode to Jerusalem on an ass. Zwillich has heard Stewart make the ass joke several times. (He has pointed out to Stewart that “cock” is also in the Bible … i.e. Jesus’ warning to an apostle that something will deny him three times before the cock crows.)
> Update: I asked a D.C. TV producer if the network uses the word “ass” freely on air. The producer remarked, “I asked around and pretty much everybody says we’d use it… its not a F-bomb.”