Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hatchet Editorial Discretion Is Sound

April Fools! I may be a day late, but I wasn't really just about to offer praise to the Hatchet. I'm going to get right back up on my high horse and complain all day, much to the chagrin of Anonymous.

Typically, at a 'paper of record' such as the GW Hatchet, there is an editorial board that checks through writers' stories for typos and pulls out anything that might embarrass the institution. But, you see, the Hatchet takes pride in being contrarian and sometimes provides a soapbox to students whose intolerant views have no place in the marketplace of ideas given that they're devoid of all reason and thought.

The Hatchet won't bite the hand that feeds it by 'burning a source,' but it will proudly print opinion pieces insulting the gay community, who make up a sizable segment of the student body and thus part of the Hatchet's audience.

After voting 'yes' on Prop 8 to ban gay marriage, College Republican Andrew Clark opined in the Hatchet:
[Homosexuals] don't want just the couples' rights. They want the whole tamale, title of marriage and all. It's an aggressive push on society to take the debate out of the legal realm and into the realm of history, tradition, sexual taboo, recognition and everything else that the title of a "marriage" would uncomfortably force on the rest of the population. It turns from a noble fight against discrimination to a fight of cultural politics.
Are you serious? Before you and your close-minded brethren cast your votes, gays had "the whole tamale." They were legally able to get married. People such as yourself then used a legal device to take that away from them based on faulty logic that could well be used to justify the Jim Crow laws.

How does two gay people getting married force anything on you? You are voluntarily fighting a battle about culture; no one is twisting your arm.

This article doesn't irk me half as much as Joshua Hock's inane rationalization of discrimination which can be summed up like this: "I'm gay and it's okay if you're uncomfortable with me, I'm uncomfortable with myself too."

I wish I could refute Hock's story better than the letters to the editor did (which - in fairness - I give credit to the Hatchet for publishing), but I'm just a blogger and I've done enough thinking today.

As such, I will sink to the level of the piss-poor parody found in this week's BuzzKill.

I Hate Myself
by Joshua Mock

I'm a GAY REPUBLICAN FRESHMAN and I demand you listen to my ranting. I subscribe to Republican ideology because I love getting abused, being compared to animals and called degenerates by my peers because I'M GAY. Even more, I love inflicting pain, which is why it feels so good to tell Todd Belok that kissin' a dude is an act of "insubordination" and that it's flamboyant people like him that divulge their sexual preferences publicly that RUIN IT FOR THE REST OF US:
"It is the people parading their sexual orientation across the room that are and should be banned. Indeed, I doubt that there is much room for those people anywhere, homosexual or straight."
This is what I have to say to anyone who thinks I'M A HYPOCRITE:
"I'll admit you've been in college longer. Congratulations. But I've still been generally awesome for longer - I was class president in high school. This awesomeness has given me the ability to see through all the muck of GW and bestow upon the inhabitants of Foggy Bottom the truth according to me - which is truth according to a kid who turned 18 two weeks ago."
Yeah! Eat that, gay people who are comfortable with themselves!


J said...

This argument fails to make a cogent point. You're conflating the decisions of the editorial side with the reporting side. There is a wall of separation between these two sides, between the columnists and the reporters.

These may be poorly written bigoted editorials, but I'd like to remind you that you that all the major papers have published bad editorials. The New York Times even had Bill Kristol as a syndicated columnist, and I'd call them a pretty solid paper both in terms of reporting and editorials.

The Hatchet doesn't exist to influence the debate towards one side or the other, the Hatchet is written to inform us of the facts and to stimulate the debate through editorials. You can criticize the content, and the authors, but you can't criticize the editorial board for these choices, because I can find just as many in favor of gay rights.

It seems to me as though this post was written more out of personal dislike for the Hatchet than any thoughtful consideration.

Colby Anderson said...

Yes I would have to disagree with you here.

I don't agree with Andrew Clark, and I thought is argument did not match his true intelligence.

However the Hatchet is a newspaper who's editorial section is to allow students to post their arguments weather you find them offensive or not. That's what public discourse is really all about. That's something your professor continues to urge people who post on this blog to do.

You are suggesting that because an argument is hateful, it shouldn't be allowed in the Hatchet, or that because it doesn't have logic behind it, it shouldn't be allowed in the Hatchet. I disagree, I feel that Mr. Clark's article should be allowed to be published and readers can make a distinction between the ones they feel are well argued, or those that weren't.

I'm also feel you were writing this with a very hateful tone. I think we can keep our debates professional and academic without deluding into a hateful tone.

Andrew Perez said...

My article was not written with a "hateful" tone.

Most of what I wrote, minus my response to Clark, was intended to be sarcasm.

Is there no irony in the Hatchet attacking the mindless opinions of freshmen while publishing the mindless opinions of a freshman?

Maybe I wasn't clear enough, or maybe you're taking my words a little too seriously.

That said, I bet you could find a whole lot of people who found Clark's editorial to be hateful.

Also, I inherently disagree with this notion that the editors bear no responsibility for the content they publish. Their job is to edit content.

The content a newspaper publishes is a reflection on the newspaper. That's indisputable.

If the NYT published a racist rant, would you suggest they were correct in publishing it because they intended to stimulate debate? I sure hope not.