Scare quotes are back in style at Wash. Times

John Solomon has only been gone for a couple of weeks, and already The Washington Times has reverted to its old ways -- the scare quotes are back.

A Times editorial today states: “It's a dark scandal in American politics that so many Catholic politicians promote abortion and same-sex 'marriage.' ” And in an op-ed in yesterday's Times, Binyamin L. Jolkovsky wrote that Carrie Prejean's “fame, or infamy, skyrocketed after she honestly answered a question about gay 'marriage' during an internationally televised beauty pageant.”

The Times reportedly banned the practice of using "scare quotes" around “gay marriage” shortly after Solomon's hiring as executive editor. In a February 25, 2008, memo, copy desk chief Patrick Tuohy reportedly stated that "[t]he quotation marks will come off gay marriage (preferred over homosexual marriage)." TPM's Ben Frumin reported this month that Solomon left the paper on November 6. It didn't take long for this modest improvement during his tenure to fall by the wayside after his departure.

One wonders what other back-sliding we'll see at the Times. Will it return to warning its readers about the “gay agenda” and its “assault upon traditional norms and values” ? Will the Times once again treat its readers to laughable references to “gay caballeros” and the “lavender lobby” that presumably represents them?

That, of course, would depend in part on whether the Times stays in operation at all, a prospect that remains in question.