On my run yesterday I loaded up my iPod with all the As It Happens daily podcasts I’d missed. I managed to catch a story on this article written in a ‘spoof’ issue for April Fool’s Day for the University of Western Ontario student newspaper.
The article was supposed to be spoofing a Take Back the Night rally. It was not funny. I’m trying to think of the best way to describe it, but you just gotta click on that link above and read it for yourself.
You know, when you read/hear criticsms, I”m almost always interested in what the original offending item was. More times than not, you can sorta see that things aren’t as bad as they’ve been made out to be. Most times, probably, the offenders shouldn’t have done it…but you can sorta make out their thinking when they did. ‘Cept for Don Imus…that guy was just an a-hole.
I was listening to the podcast and they interviewed the editor of the student paper. When the editor…the one who is defending the article…the one who made the final decision to release the article…when that guy can’t make the offending item seem like ‘oh, well…it’s not as bad as it seems’ then you know the campus newspaper deserves all that they get. I couldn’t believe what he was describing: a prominent campus feminist’s vagina leaving her body, that same vagina gleeful over the impending rape from the police chief (the real guy was named in the article)…holy effing crap! And then I read the article! It’s worse, even!
Back to the editor. He said that it was a spoof. He said that no one intended to hurt anyone. He said that they had no way of knowing that there would be such an uproar made over this issue. Also..what wasn’t mentioned in his interview is that it seems (in one of the links up there) that the paper initially issued a ‘fuck you’ statement to all those who complained. Nice.
So…they had no idea that this would be a problem (other than for a few students who complain about everything, is essentially what he said). I”m wondering what is wrong with the campus newspaper at Western. How on earth did they think what they published would be acceptable? Is the newspaper office located under a huge, information-proof rock? Have they been writing about these new fangled inventions ‘fire’ and ‘wheel’ for the past few years??
I watched Jon Stewart a few nights ago. He was talking about..umm…Bush, probably. Anyway, he mentioned the Imus scandal. Imus (I stopped listening to it all shortly after it happened) apparently was on a 7 second delay in his radio show. When the, now famous, comment on the Rutger’s women’s basketball team was spoken…no one thought to hit the bleep button. People become so used to certain sentiments being expressed that no one thinks ‘hey..this is wrong’ when it slips outside of their circles.
Is this what happened here? Are the staff at Western’s campus paper so used to these thoughts and words that they feel everyone else will be okeedokee when they write a fictional piece about a real and active student being raped by a real cop?