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Palin, Jolie: The Washington Postís Fave Unqualified Experts
Angelina Jolie news

The blogosphere lit up with disgust this morning Ė rightly so Ė that Sarah Palin was given the highly coveted real estate of space on the Washington Post op-ed page to air her climate change denial, complete with scary air quotes around the word science. This would be akin to the Post asking me to pen a piece on lifting heavy objects, or petting some snakes Ė in other words, subjects in which I am in no way qualified to comment on.

Though the outrage at the Post is well-deserved, the editorsí horrific judgement should not come as a surprise. Their pages are generally lacking women and young people, as Iíve mentioned before, but what is just as infuriating is the women who actually do make the cut.

Last year, the Post allowed professional woman-hater Charlotte Allen not just to write a piece about how dumb women are, but to expend 1,700 words doing it (it tells people interested in submitting op-eds to limit their pieces to 800 words). In it, she derides everything from women who swooned over Barack Obama during the campaign to their supposed inability to drive. Allen conveniently ignores equivalent foolish behavior by men, thereby assuming that itís OK for guys to behave absurdly without it being a reflection of their intelligence. Itís the kind of unfair, generalizing tirade that Post editors would presumably never allow if it were targeted at, say, Asians or Jews. Many Post staffers, including the paperís own ombudsman (ombudswoman?), chided the op-ed editors for their terrible judgment.

And then there are the well-intentioned but ultimately irrelevant musings of Angelina Jolie, which have appeared more than once on the Postís op-ed page. She has written about Darfur and Iraq, and though sheís actually been to these places, her role as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commission for Refugees is something earned purely by celebrity. There are plenty of actual policy experts who could write more knowingly, but giving space to Jolie only proves how much the Post editors prefer celebrity to expertise.

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Posted by Jiji on Thursday, December 10 @ 18:30:52 (3552 reads)
( View Comments | 2 )


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