oops, they did it again

Posted in Oh hell no by Nancy on May 17, 2010

In defence, the mag said:

“Due to an extremely regrettable production error, an inappropriate and indefensible response to a letter has appeared in this week’s issue.

“ZOO editor, Tom Etherington, apologises unreservedly for any offence the response may have caused and has launched an internal enquiry to ensure lessons are learnt.”

As a newspaper sub, I know the sort of attitudes prevalent that would let this sort of stuff get through. I’ve subbed many things I have found offensive to me as a genderqueer person or a person of colour, but those things would not cause others to bat an eye.

Of course, they argue, he is not seriously endorsing this, it’s a ‘joke’. Yes, a joke only the privileged get to enjoy, because they will never have to deal with this:

Once I used to laugh along at domestic violence jokes, and maybe riff off this theme myself – it felt essential to prove I had a non-threatening male-friendly identity (I was certainly not a ‘hysterical feminist’) to gain some sort of access (although limited) to a boys’ club. It is, thankfully, a club I’ve grown out of.

Sadly, over many years it becomes hard to get surprised or shocked by misogynism, racism, sexism, classism or ableism, unless you keep an eye open for it.

It’s great people have complained about this, but more insidious forms of prejudice and discrimination slip through every day and will probably continue to do so as long as journalism remains an intellectually conservative, anti-academic institution that refuses to critique and hold itself accountable (without first causing shitstorms, most often created by lazy, hamfisted reporters).

News reporting will always be reductive. So I call bullshit when they call this a ‘production’ error.


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