Thursday, February 08, 2007

Why Would Anyone Read a Newspaper?

[posted by Callimachus]

Look at one of the top news stories in this cycle: John Edwards and his bloggers. The central "what" of the story is the opinions and language that were printed and deemed offensive -- so offensive that the big media can't repeat it and has to write around it.

How can you possibly form an opinion without knowing what was said? How can 40 inches of journalistic pussyfooting, however artful, substitute for one dip into the well?

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?

A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.


In the meantime, I’ve been sort of casually listening to CNN blaring throughout the waiting area and good fucking god is that channel pure evil. For awhile, I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and fucked her against her will--not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out. Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.

Which, yeah, you can't put in the old family paper, I agree. But it's not tangential: It's the crux of the story. So you're stuck with letting some mediocrity with a J-school degree try to describe it for you:

In some of their online writings, Ms. Marcotte and Ms. McEwan used vulgar language to characterize religious conservatives and Roman Catholic teachings on birth control, homosexuality and the virgin birth of Jesus.

Ms. McEwan referred to conservative Christians as “Christofascists” and Mr. Marcotte said that the Catholic Church’s prohibition on the use of birth control forced women to bear “more tithing Catholics.”

Both frequently used sexually explicit profanity to describe their ideological opponents.

That from the New York Times. And this from the AP:

For instance, Marcotte had written that the church wants "to force women to bear more tithing Catholics" and McEwan had written that the pope is among those who "regularly speak out against gay tolerance." Other postings used more graphic language.

Which is better: Seeing for yourself, or being told?

An awful lot of important things happen in the world that are unprintable. But you can see most of them online. Which is part of the reason newspapers resent bloggers.

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