For the Record

Mike Byrd says:

Last October local SouthComm blogger Betsy Phillips introduced new SouthComm reporter Andrea Zelinski in an interesting way. Yes, full disclosure counsels that Phillips’ wrote some “homer” PR fluff on behalf of the news corp she blogs for. So, take the cheers with a grain of salt and then verify for yourselves. And yes, it is remarkable that Phillips dropped a double-edged sword of praise for Zelinski qua woman (saying males “don’t really know a lot about the reality of women’s lives” even as she also argued that women’s issues are not different than issues, like jobs, that concern males). Yes, it can be argued that Phillips takes away with one hand what she gave with the other.

Let’s just be clear. I don’t know what Byrd thinks I should have more fully disclosed. I wrote that piece because I wanted to and it’s what I believe. No one asked me to write it. Even when people at SouthComm send ideas my way, they never tell me what opinion to have about those things or how “fluffy” to make those things. But that doesn’t really matter, because I wrote that post on my own.

I’m also not sure how one should “take the cheers with a grain of salt and then verify for yourselves.” Verify what? That I wrote the piece? I did. That I meant what I said when I wrote it. Well, world, if my word then wasn’t good enough, I’m not sure how my word now is supposed to be, but here you go: I meant what I said when I wrote it.

But I would like to thank Byrd for illustrating my point so clearly. In the real world, a woman can be excited about another woman getting a more prominent job writing about politics because she is genuinely excited about seeing more women’s voices in prominent positions when talking about politics. That’s my agenda–support for more women’s voices talking about issues that affect us and support for men who don’t treat women as some strange species that plays by different rules and who don’t write dismissively about us.

In Byrd’s world, if a woman writes positively about another woman, it’s evidence of some secret agenda dictated to her by her SouthComm superiors. In the reality of women’s lives, we don’t all automatically hate each other unless some man tells us to fake it for the general public.

Hell, if all Zelinski did was write about Rhee without using the term “tough cookie” to apply to a grown-up woman making (or attempting to make) national decisions about our educational system, it would be an important change in tone from how adult women making national public policy get talked about here on the internet.

If that makes me a co-conspirator in some grand scheme to… I don’t know what… then consider me a co-conspirator.

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4 thoughts on “For the Record

  1. He offers no evidence whatsoever that anybody pressed you to do anything, but of course, “evidence’ is not a requirement of the Brave New Commentary, just attitude, which the world has much of. Blech!

  2. OTOH, he’s right that Zelinski’s interview with Rhee wasn’t exactly probing. Now, if he’d stuck to saying that….

  3. Oh, good lord. Criticize the interview all you want, as nm said. Hell, even speculate on the reporter’s abilities if you’re on a bad mood. But trying to gin up some kind of ovary-having conspiracy is just plain odd.

  4. And the thing is that, as much as I would have loved for her to ask, point blank, “Isn’t it true that your daughters are one in a private school and the other in a charter school?” she at least asked where her kids went to school and got that equivocating on the record, which is more than I’ve seen from most journalists who write about her.

    It might not have been a home run, as far as journalism goes, but she got on base.

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