Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why does the Post-Gazette think we are ridiculous?

Here's the headline of Peter McKay latest column "Trapped by a chick flick"

It is truly a toss up as to which "writer" is more demeaning to women who read the Post-Gazette -- Peter McKay's domesticated man struggling to reclaim his machismo or Cat Specter's daddy's girl with a kicky beret (someone even referenced her "hat" in this week's column.)

McKay complains that viewing Sex and the City is turning him into a woman. Or, worse, gay. I know there are plenty of men who share his opinion, but I just wonder if maybe the Post-Gazette pays him in coupons or something. There's no rational explantion why one of America's great newspapers would print such drivel. It is not funny. It isn't original. It is a big waste of space. And in a big shout out to the folks at the Pittsburgh Media Scoops and Gossip Forum, there is so much actual talent in this region, that it is a shame.

If you want to attract young readers, hire professionals to write thoughtful, informative and, perhaps, entertaining pieces. Not whiny men obsessing about throw pillows. Not untested Daddy's girls to give advice on lipstick and sex. Being a yinzerette with Shadyside shopping credentials does not qualify you to give advice and, more importantly, it doesn't make for very interesting reading. It doesn't matter if Tony Norman is your defender -- and I love Tony a lot -- your editor is obviously missing something when he lets this get by:

Question: I don't feel right paying money to someone with those
values, but I have a lease. Can you put my mind at ease until I can move
out?Cat's Response: Of course you kept your mouth shut; otherwise next week
you'd have no heat. It seems callous, but there's a reason people separate
business from personal matters. Look, for all you know your dry cleaner is a
bigot, but he presses a shirt like nobody's business. Would you still go there
if you knew? No, but only because you have the choice. You don't have that
option when you're bound by a lease.
Cat's Call: Stay cool, remain friendly
with your neighbors, and hightail it outta there when you get the chance.

Ironic that Tony Norman would lift up someone who doesn't have the common sense to understand how the Fair Housing Act is designed for situations just like this one. Because housing discrimination based on race HURTS EVERYONE.

I would trade McKay and Specter for a daily Dear Abby in a heartbeat. I've been informed that Cat Specter thinks I hate her or have a personal grudge. Rest assured, that I'm not interested in writing advice for the Post-Gazette ... I don't even think there should be an advice column. I'd rather read news, features or columns. I don't want to write for any publication. I have a career and I enjoy blogging because it meets my own needs. If people read it great. If they find it so offensive, they wish me to choke on my own bile and die, fine. The point is that I have no delusions of grandeur. Chris Potter isn't going to come swooping in with a $50,000 offer to pen a weekly lesbian column. If he did, I'd say no and keep writingn whatever the hell I want to write about.

But when you continue to churn out borderline homoophobic content like this ... in the name of gentle humor ... you need to be called on it.
I staggered to my feet, just as I felt the last Y chromosome seeping away
from my soul. My wife asked me where I was going.
"Don't know, don't care," I
said. "But I gotta get outta here before we have to move to a state that's
legalized same-sex marriage!"

Rumor has it the Post-Gazette may be laying off actual reporters on Monday morning. There's room for this tired old crap about emasculated husbands being equal to women and/or being gay, but there's no room for news?

Sigh. But I'll still keep my subscription to the paper. My 92 year old grandmother reads the entire paper, cover to cover every day, tosses it down in disgust and talks about the hey day when her father was the Sports Editor (back in the 1940s and 1950s). But she still reads it. It is in our blood, sort of literally since I bet some of that ink was absorbed into his DNA back in the early part of the century.

I wish the Post-Gazette would stop trying so hard to be hip. It is very embarrassing, sort of like the Verizon commercial with the parents in teen punk clothing.

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