3.03.2008

The State of Washington Newspapers

The Washington Times has a well documented history of racism and incompetence. It's a paper with absolutely no "integrity." A right-wing propaganda rag that is beyond even the most outlandish parodies with the added bonus that it's owned by a convicted felon and cult leader who claims he's the son of God.

Things are looking up for the paper. New Executive Editor John Solomon changed the Times's style guide. No more referring to a United States senator and presidential candidate by her first name. No more scare quotes around "gay marriage." The paper has nowhere to go but up, so it's a start.

The "nowhere to go but up" bit can not be said of The Washington Post. The Post has a pretty good reputation. And it's being squandered on nonsense. If people are going to call out the Times for their racist editors, I think it's about time that the sexist drivel the Post publishes gets its due.

I've spent many, many hours reading, writing, and stalking all things Laura Sessions Stepp. Her anti-feminism and promotion of not reporting rapes have been duly noted by myself, DC blogs like DCist and Wonkette and feminist blogs like Jezebel and Feministing. There's no surprise there.

But the editorial the Post published on Sunday really goes beyond the pale. Its thesis: women are dumber than men. There is no evidence used to back this up. Save for hilarious junk like this:

Depressing as it is, several of the supposed misogynist myths about female inferiority have been proven true. Women really are worse drivers than men, for example. A study published in 1998 by the Johns Hopkins schools of medicine and public health revealed that women clocked 5.7 auto accidents per million miles driven, in contrast to men's 5.1, even though men drive about 74 percent more miles a year than women.

Um. It's accidents per million miles driven. A ratio. So it does not matter if men drive 74% more miles. Jesus, isn't someone at the Post supposed to check this stuff? And that flawed nonsensical piece of garbage is the only evidence in the entire piece!

The piece then devolves into the female author, Charlotte Allen, claiming that she doesn't know how many pairs of shoes she owns. Ergo, she is another dumb female. Well, let's make one thing clear. Charlotte Allen is a dumb woman. There is no debate there. Everything else in her piece can be easily refuted.

My problem isn't with Allen anyways. It's with the Post. Read that editorial and ask yourself why the Post's editorial staff would decide to publish that piece. It isn't clever. It isn't funny. It isn't accurate. It isn't compelling. It was either done solely for attention (which is inexcusable) or someone at the Post really thinks women are "dim" (also inexcusable).

I buy the Post every weekday. I spend $120 a year on the Post. I can't do it anymore. I just can't buy that paper in good conscience. I will not support an organization that promotes such outdated and misogynistic bullshit.

Both major newspapers in this area are damaged goods. I refuse to support Reverend Moon and I refuse to support sexism. And I refuse to support the Washington City Paper because at the end of the day I prefer some semblance of quality in my reading materials. That leaves me with what...The Examiner? Oy vey.

Looks like I'm spending $240 a year on The New York Times.

19 comments:

  1. this is this single dumbest piece of criticism i've ever read. rusty is going to boycott the washington post because of the placement of the words "even though" in an editorial. absolutely ridiculous

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  2. One of my favorite examples of the Post sacrificing good reporting and valuable journalism for sexist tripe is this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/14/AR2006111401356.html

    It's about Tom DeLay's replacement, who is GASP! a woman (Shelley Sekula-Gibbs). It describes her hair, her blouse, her smile, her necklace BUT NOT THAT HER STAFF WALKED OUT ON HER DURING THE INTERVIEW. The post reporter was actually there when it happened, but needed to save the space to review her fucking outfit.

    See the NYT article about the walk-out and subsequent hoo-ha: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/17/us/politics/17delay.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin

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  3. No, coffee. I am going to stop reading the Post because they have a history of hiring and publishing anti-feminists. That the pieces they provide are stupid and involve the misapplication of statistics is just icing on the cake.

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  4. It's like someone's twice divorced drunk uncle wrote that editorial.

    BTW, you really captured the hatred with this one, Rusty. Good job.

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  5. Seriously, this article is just idiotic. Its central thesis is something like "stupid bitches like me should just stay home and rearrange the furniture."

    It makes me sad to think that something more intelligent/insightful/not insane presumably was cut to make room for this article.

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  6. I knew you were going to blog about this as soon as I read that article. I apologize for this woman on behalf of my gender. If the author actually is a woman. Not even the most suburban and sheltered woman recoiling at the first challenge to her coddled upbringing could write something quite as insulting as this.

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  7. I thought I had a thick skin since I've lived through several rounds of anti-feminist backlash. Thick skin or not, I was literally sickened to see a piece of hateful, hurtful bigotry on the front page of the website of a reputable publication. So...I guess The Washington Post isn't a reputable publication. That was a pretty fast resolution for cognitive dissonance.

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  8. Have any you guys heard of history? As in, Your newspapers are a reflection of it.

    Lexis-Nexis the front pages of the Washington Post circa 1984.

    Read how native american, blacks, jews, gays, immigrants, welfare recipients, foriegners, single mothers, non-traditional families, non-English speakers -WHATEVAH- were represented in those articles.

    Also, newsflash: sexism/misogyny still exist.

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  9. King Friday - "It's like someone's twice divorced drunk uncle wrote that editorial." Ha! If only. I'm seriously sad you didn't keep up your own blog.

    Maybe it's because I'm a philosopher and therefore obsessed with logic, but I really don't get the position of people like Charlotte Allen (or whatever her name is) and Ann Coulter. If women are dumb, you are dumb. If dumb women don't belong in public life, then you don't belong in public life. Why am I still forced to suffer through your nonsense?

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  10. first off, young males (16/24) are have the *highest* mortality w/ driving incidents AND accidents. and secondly, maybe i missed it, but *why* does that lady encourage underreporting rape?? well geez this is so sad; i kind of feel that the utter lack/big gaping hole/oh no wait nonexistence of comprehensive informative daily news just goes to show not only how feeble minded the general american citizen is, but what little standards its government holds them to. granted, this probably does not come as a surprise to many. however, do not seek solace in the 'alternative' branch of news, either; at least, personally, i would not encourage it. the 'alternative' sources of news i speak of are the ultra-liberal blogosphere, namely feministing.com. these places are just as bad as the "other side"'s news because they continually fail to take into account the entire story and who this will *really* impact/benefit. also, they have absolutely NO respect for other cultures; since when were anything but white women "women of colour" (?), and since when did clitorectemy become their business? and do not tell me that crap where 'since it's affecting these women, then it affects us all'. and bashing muslim women is out of control. BACK THE FUCK UP, this is not your culture. i dunno, my main gripe with it is that they really fail to see that a.) as they (women) dislike being told what to do b.) other women would also dislike being told what to do, especially when the "advice givers" come from the richest nation + poorest literacy rates-- and apparently it shows. well, let me know if you're able to find a truly comprehensive informative source. oy, indeed.

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  11. Rusty, I am so glad you decided to blog about this article. I shudder to think about the potential number of individuals that nodded along as they read the piece. My girlfriends and I thought about composing a letter to the editor, but we all figured that dignifying such diatribe with a response would be as appalling as publishing it in the first place. Besides we all have midterms in our respective law, medical, and graduate schools(for economics, public health, and neuroscience) this week and it is taking our feeble brains a while to wrap themselves around the material.

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  12. duh may be right that the article that he/she read about Shelley Sekula-Gibbs was worthless, but the Post did cover the staff walkout in a story published on November 16, the same day as the NYT story. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/16/AR2006111601552.html

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  13. And?

    That's an laughably low bar. It should have been in the first article, instead of the color of her shirt.

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  14. I can't believe a piece of crap like that was published in the (com)Post. It's too badly written to get too pissed off about it tho, unless of course you write a blog that shares the DC hate.

    The article says more about the alleged "writer" and the paper that published it than it does about anyone who owns a uterus. It reeks of a desperate attempt to be controversial.

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  15. Post chat today at 2 p.m. over this mess.

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  16. She has a right to her opinion, even if that opinion is a shitty one. The paper's staff would be cowards if they refused to run it. Grow up, Rusty.

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  17. So....if the Wash Times is "A right-wing propaganda rag that is beyond even the most outlandish parodies..." what's that make the Washington Post?

    The last bastion of objective, centrist journalism?

    Honestly, the Post is as far left as the Times is far right. To argue otherwise is simply ignorant. Partisan journalism is a two-edged sword, my friends, regardless of what you may WANT to believe.

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