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between a roux and a bechamel

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The blaga continues

The Charlotte Allen fall out continues. Yesterday, DCist covered the WaPo's Outlook section editor's response. In summation: it was tongue in cheek, meant to provoke discussion, and successful. And, frankly, John Pomfret's (the Outlook section editor) explanation, in the form of responses to emails he received, is complete b.s. If this had actually been an article about the iconization and sexualization of a candidate, which is what he says they were pitched, it might have been interesting. That's not what this article was. Yet they still chose to publish it. And any investigation into Charlotte Allen's credentials shows that she is: a) not a satirist, but a very serious anti-feminist, and b) not a psychologist, a sociologist, or any other kind of professional armed with the skills to support the arguments she so clumsily made. If the Post wanted to cover this side of the election, they should have chosen someone who was actually qualified to do it.

Today, they've begun posting letters they received in response to the post. The first of which is a glowing approval. And all are posted under the headline, "Barack Obama and the Female Vote." A list of a few of the things wrong with that:
  • The actual article had nothing really to do with Barack Obama and the Female Vote. Beatlemania and Obamamania were mentioned in the intro, then forgotten in a litany of crap. This is not what the article was about, so responses to Charlotte Allen shouldn't be disguised as such.
  • There is no official response from the actual editor.
  • I know that the Post got much more strongly worded, careful critiques of the article than the ones they're publishing. I know this because I wrote one, and so did several people I know. They're posting a smattering of soundbites that don't do justice to the uproar this article caused.
  • The article garnered over 1,000 comments, 900 of which questioned why the Post published this piece. The Post hasn't officially answered that question.

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