Menands Man Has “Medically Graphic“ Christmas Newsletter Censored By NSA

By Leslie Carp

Published December 4th, 2016

A censored page of Jerry Farfel's 2016 Christmas newsletter.

MENANDS — In the first recorded case of postal censorship in the United States since World War II, the Christmas newsletter of a Menands man has been relieved of its most “medically graphic” content by the National Security Agency before reaching friends and relatives.

Jerry Farfel, 71, is well known among loved ones for his heartfelt and candid Christmas newsletters. Past editions have included original poetry, warning messages about new neighbors who are on the sex offender registry, and philosophical musings.

This year has been particularly challenging for Farfel, who spent most of 2016 at doctor’s appointments, in surgery, or recovering at home. Having little else to write about in this year’s Christmas letter, he wrote about his medical procedures, detailing page after page of colorful and pungent bodily fluids, gases and semi-solids.

Unfortunately — or perhaps fortunately — for Farfel’s readers, the NSA was tipped off by a postal worker in Watervliet, who projectile vomited after accidentally reading a paragraph of the letter. All 140 copies of the newsletter were reviewed by NSA staff, who blacked out the letters’ most “medically graphic” content before they were sent on their merry way.

“Censorship is alive and well in America,” said Jiggit Farfel-Noogan, one of Farfel’s nephews.

Farfel-Noogan and several other relatives were outraged when the heavily redacted newsletter arrived.

“Who the f*** is the government to deprive me of my right to know how much blood Uncle Jerry had in his stool after three weeks on Vicodin?”

The U.S. government has not censored mail since 1945, when the emergency wartime Office of Censorship closed its doors.

“We believe in the First Amendment, but we also strongly believe in protecting unsuspecting readers from such an excessive and revolting degree of oversharing,” said NSA spokeswoman Supparativa Hidradenitis. “The content of Mr. Farfel’s newsletter is more than just a little TMI. It is a calculated and aggravated assault on good taste.”


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