Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Monica Hesse has two strikes against her. . .

A few weeks ago, Monica Hesse of the Style section of the Washington Post wrote an article about my neighborhood (Columbia Heights) that pissed off a lot of locals. New Columbia Heights and DCist had great takes on the subject, and my take is that the article was filled with self-referential Gen-X snark that would be better off on Wonkette or The Onion. Sure, if you look at the comments on the article in these sites and the venerable PoP, there were plenty of people who ate the article up- I think it played to their stereotypes of "hipsters" "quasi-hipsters" and whatever other crappy iteration that Hesse came up with to describe newcomers to my neighborhood.

A couple of days ago, Hesse wrote another stinker, a cloying puff piece on Brian Brown, Executive Director of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that opposes same-sex marriage. Say what you will about Brown's politics, but the article itself is full of statements like:
He takes nothing personally. He means nothing personal. He is never accusatory or belittling. His arguments are based on his understandings of history, not on messages from God that gays caused Hurricane Katrina.
Give me a break! It is fine to be supportive of a person's views, but please stop making your opinions sound like facts Monica! Take this quote from the Columbia Heights article:
But this complex is not why the quasi-hipsters of Columbia Heights had moved to the neighborhood. They were seeking bragging rights, and bodegas spilling over from Mount Pleasant. They were seeking urban.
Ms. Hesse seems to love to "tell it like it is," but when she uses tired Bushisms like "speechify" or "adultification," one begins to wonder if she truly understands what the definition of "it" is.

Well, the bell did toll for Ms. Hesse- on Sunday the Washington Post Ombudsman wrote an article on Ms. Hesse and her profile on Brown. It turns out that the mail an comments on her article made Monica burst out crying. For the Ombudsman to mention this in the article, probably Monica did more than just have a simple cry I bet. The WaPo Ombudsman then took a look at the Brown article and basically tore it apart. Lesson learned Monica? I know I should have low expectations for the journalistic standards of the Style section, but I feel you can do better than snarky polemics and one-sided puff pieces on controversial figures.

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