August 09, 2002


THE PRESS GETS RUDE: Ever since I came to New York two years ago, New York Press has been my favorite publication to read, and I have never missed an issue. I love the paper's irreverent tone and while it doesn't come from any clearly defined political ideology, I admire its solid commitment to questioning the conventional wisdom on everything from politics to music.
But in this week's issue, in particular, I noticed a surprising amount of vulgarity- and it didn't even include the sick-and-twisted "Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles" comic strip. Remarkably, the issue's cover story (on something called "Pimpology") doesn't even rate an honorable mention on the shock scale for the week.
First, in Armond White's capsule review of the new Jennifer Aniston movie "The Good Girl" (not online), he states that "Aniston is playing a hateful twat, yet she's still extremely likable." First of all, who knew a respected film critic could use the word "twat" in print? (I've never seen Ebert do it). Secondly, if she is such a thing, how can she be extremely likable?
Then, in editor-in-chief Russ Smith's "Mugger" column, on his usual pro-Bush, anti-Democrats rant, he refers to Attorney General John Ashcroft as "the left's house nigger." Now, not only is it at best highly questionable and at worst racist for the very white Smith to use such a term, but he doesn't even use it correctly: Ashcroft is himself white, isn't "the left"'s anything, since he's of the right, and the relationship between the left and Ashcroft is nothing even remotely like that between a slave owner and his house-slave. The aforementioned slur is most often used by black people about other black people who they feel are "not black enough" and too close to "The Man"; how that translates into a white conservative writer's opinion about a white conservative politician, I'll never know. I do know that next week's "The Mail" section will likely consist of at least 10 letters nearly indentical to what I just wrote.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 9, 2002 01:06 AM
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