Once again, the New York Times has tip-toed around a taboo word or (in this case) slur by paraphrasing a speaker, while signaling that the speaker used an item banned from the paper.
This time, it came in the story “Ben Carson Is Struggling to Grasp Foreign Policy, Advisers Say” by Trip Gabriel, which quotes Duane R. Clarridge, former CIA agent and adviser to Carson:
“Russian special forces are staying in the Titanic Hotel in Sulaymaniya,” the operative said, according to notes recorded by [Carson’s top adviser Armstrong] Williams. “They frequent an Irish pub in the hotel bar.”
“The jump from Erbil and Soviets [by which Clarridge must have meant Russians]” to the Chinese in Damascus “is a long leap,” Mr. Clarridge said, using an ethnic slur for the Chinese.
Two things here: