“Disrespecting The Bing” Cracks the Gray Lady

An important cultural moment: Reader Kathy Kreutzer alerts Chatterbox that the phrase “disrespecting the Bing” has surfaced in America’s newspaper of record. In the May 20 New York Times, Terry Teachout writes:

Policy wonks who salt their op-eds with pop-culture references in order to simulate youth now have a new catch phrase, “disrespecting the Bing,” to kick around. (For those benighted folk who don’t keep up with “The Sopranos,” the reference is not to Bing Crosby but to the Bada Bing, a strip joint which is prominently featured in the series.)

Chatterbox isn’t sure whether this is a swipe at Chatterbox or at Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter, who used the phrase in this MSNBC piece about the bragging rights he’s acquired by virtue of living in Montclair, N.J., where much of the series is set. (We’re both in our early 40s.) He might also mean Joshua Marshall, though Marshall is a good 10 years younger. If Teachout had done his homework, he’d realize that “disrespecting the Bing” has so far been used mainly by sportswriters. Though now that it’s received the Times imprimatur–however sneeringly–that may change.