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5 Pathetic Failures of the American Media This Week

July 12, 2014 in Blogs

By Nina Burleigh, AlterNet

Here's a rundown of some of the worst media howlers of late.

It was another week of mainstream media disasters and right-wing outrages, from sexism to good ol' fashioned Bush-era WMD lies. Here's a recap:  

1. In praise of bald and gray old guys who rank women.

Esquire and its ASME award-winning writer Tom Junod win the week’s “Oops, My Sexist Underwear is Showing” award for their “In praise of 42-year-old women” article (illustrated with Sofia Vergara in a black maillot with her legs bent and Photoshopped into perverse plastic doll-like curves, like Barbie’s).

They probably thought they were doing “older” women a favor this year, and I bet they don’t get why this whole ranking thing is insulting. 

Here’s a snippet of Junod’s dulcet, if patronizing, prose: “A few generations ago, a woman turning forty-two was expected to voluntarily accept the shackles of biology and convention; now it seems there is no one in our society quite so determined to be free. Conservatives still attack feminism with the absurd notion that it makes its adherents less attractive to men; in truth, it is feminism that has made forty-two-year-old women so desirable.”

Esquire has “occasionally” rated the hottest age of women for more decades than any of us have been alive, but this year the tradition got some deserved blowback. New York Magazine’s “The Cut” posted mug shots of Tom Junod and his boss at Esquire, aging baldy David Granger. “Meet 2 Men Who feel Entitled to Weigh In On Women’s Hotness.”

Running their mugshots was brilliant, economical commentary. My only beef with NYMag’s female-centric column is that it has a rather offensive name. Feminist observations should be shared by men and women, and served up in a gender-neutral format. Otherwise, all the male-written columns out there should be renamed Cock and Dick.

But we take what we can get from the dude-itorial desks.

2. Poor Israeli zoo elephants.

The brilliant PR machine that is Israel reached for the bleachers but slammed a foul ball when someone provided the world with video and pictures of an Israeli zoo elephant shielding its baby from air raid …read more


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