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October 2, 2007

"SLUT." Commence Chuckling.

For all of their supposed high-minded devotion to the important stuff, reporters sure like their jollies cheap. Consider the national media coverage surrounding the unveiling of the South Lake Union Streetcar, a modestly important nostalgia project in downtown Seattle. At a price of $55 million dollars (by comparison, a recent upgrade on a NYC subway line cost $288 million), this otherwise not-extraordinary municipal work should hardly be of significance to the Oregonian newspaper in Portland, much less the Associated Press.

As it turns out though, the South Lake Union Streetcar isn't acknowledged by its current official name, but by its hastily christened original one, South Lake Union Trolley. Yes—SLUT. Giggle if you must; the news media has been for almost two weeks. Here are just some of the syntactic jewels littering the news universe:

Seattle Commuters Urged To 'Ride The SLUT'

Thousands Will Ride Sluts in Seattle

Seattle wants citizens to ride the SLUT

To be sure, beat reporting on city infrastructure probably isn't the raciest of professions. And a juicy teaser is a time-tested ploy to compel readership. (When Bart runs for class President, for example, Homer makes a sign displaying the word "SEX!" in big red letters; below it reads "Now that I've got your attention, vote for Bart.") But like the titular project it so shamelessly draws from, the media, it would seem, just can't get enough.

Here are some other seemingly benign subjects for the media to tackle:

Computer Literacy and Information Technology

Fatal Accident Reconstruction Team

Segway Human Transporter

North Atlantic Defense System

Canadian Reform Alliance Party

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