Thursday, March 10, 2011

Righteous takedown of NYT's piss-poor reporting of the attack on the Texas schoolgirl.

The New York Times' Rape-Friendly Reporting | Mother Jones:

At least no more stories would be written like the one yesterday.

This is the point at which, as the writer's editor, I would send him an email. 'Dear James,' it would say. 'Thanks for getting this in! I have some concerns that we've only got quotes from people who are worried about the suspects ('The arrests have left many wondering who will be taken into custody next') and think the girl was asking for it, especially since, even if she actually begged for it, the fact that she is 11 makes the incident stupendously reprehensible (not to mention still illegal). We don't want anyone wrongly thinking you are being lazy or thoughtless or misogynist! Please advise if literally no other kinds of quotes are available because every single person who lives in Cleveland, Texas, is a monster.'
When I linked the story yesterday, I didn't have to time to point out all the things wrong with the article itself, I focused on the horror of the act and insanity of the reactions in the town (as reported). The final question in the pull-quote perfectly encapsulates the question the article forces us to face.

The possibility that the answer to the question may well be, "yes, they are all monsters," being the reason I spent yesterday thinking that maybe it's time another giant meteor came along and arranged for another species to take dominion of the earth. I sure hope it's the case that the reporter is just as lazy and misogynist as we conclude.
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