A "Journalist" actually got paid [Updated!]

August 28, 2006 at 12:19 PM (Idiocy, On Being Fat)

to write this

I found this via Big Fat Blog.

And unfortunately for me and for the “journalist” in question, this was the original text that generated my answer

Are you a fatty? Want to be in a book? Waddle over to a computer, grab your typing stick (those sausage fingers hit too many keys at once, don’t they?), go to stacybias.net, and fill out the contact form for your chance to contribute to Bias’ FatGirl Speaks, a short-fiction anthology inspired by her event of same name.

I then emailed the editor:

Karla Starr, one of your reporters obviously thinks fat people haven’t been treated like acceptable scapegoats for *everything.*, society’s losers for long enough . Obviously she feels writing like the paragraph above is appropriate language to use describing to anyone who is overweight. She felt that in order to promote author Stacy Bias’ project she had to say this.

Here’s my answer included in the email and cc:d to the reporter:

Are you a fatty?

Yes and I’ve been working to be Healthy At Any Size (HAES to the uninitiated) since I was 17. I’m 44 now.

Want to be in a book?

Possibly, as long as Karla Starr won’t be one of the contributors. I don’t want my story mangled by the arrogant, nasty, ignorant, egregiously stupid prose above that you make the mind numbing mistake of paying her to write.

Waddle over to a computer,

Fat people, like thin people *Walk* to their computers.

grab your typing stick (those sausage fingers hit too many keys at once, don’t they?)

Oh. Okay. Demean fat people with the “sausage” remark *and* piss off those of us with disabilities for which typing sticks are important tools to level the playing field.

Yeah I’m a dual eligible. A heavyset woman with disabilities I’ve had from birth.

go to stacybias.net, and fill out the contact form for your chance to contribute to Bias’ FatGirl Speaks, a short-fiction anthology inspired by her event of same name.

Now, this paragraph shows some promise. She should have stuck with the facts (name of website, name of anthology.) It might have gotten her a C- passing grade in any Journalism 101 Class. Because, while factual, that paragraph, like the rest of the sewage in the piece, shows not an ounce of creativity, inspiration, positive humor, or a sense of who Stacy’s (the author of the project, not the author of this ridiculous blurb) target audience really are–human beings of any size worthy of respect because they are human.

Update 6:05 pm MDT:

Karla Starr has sent me a letter. There are a number of reasons I will not publish it here…a nearly identical response did get published in the comments to the post over at Big Fat Blog

I’m going to try and be as fair as I can without going so far as to publish her response. My reasons for not publishing it will become clear.

First, from my side I’ll admit to a vitriol in tone that far outweighed the importance of what anyone thought about that piece. So, for about a fifth of the intensity of my response, I apologize. Also it takes courage to admit an error, and if what I received is genuine, I admire her for having been forthright about her mistake.

Ms. Starr’s letter seems effusive….she makes a point of several items:

One: When written, Ms. Starr thought the piece “sarcastic” and “funny”

Two: She (and by implication her superiors), expected laughter rather than rage.

Three: She put down some of it to her own body issues.

Four: She apologized at length

… but this is the reason I’m not comfortable publishing it.

On the Internets, and email, there is always a difficulty regarding the tone of an email. On the surface it “reads” as genuine upset and a conciliatory move in the right direction…And, I’ll allow that I could be completely offbase with my cynical mistrust of same.

This could be a genuine “lightbulb” moment for the editor of the paper and perhaps Ms. Starr as well. I hope so.

But, there were ostensibly editors and controls in place that would have reviewed the original before it went out….So if someone put together this lovely piece of writing in order to avoid any more pointed verbal darts being directed at the Willamette Weekly, and those who report therefrom…

*While* they were writing it, if they continued to mentally snicker behind their hands at the project they discussed and the fat persons involved…

On the off chance that they are now merely continuing to believe and disseminate privately what they eschew publicly in a well written apology, then if I published her apology, I’d be just another candidate for “Ha! She actually *bought* that fairytale…You owe me a beer!” etc.

Fool me once…shame on you.

Fool me twice. Shame on me.

4 Comments

  1. Ranter said,

    Wow. I don’t know what this woman is trying to accomplish by speaking like that, but it is quite incredulous! Let us know if you get a response from her or the editor. Good for you for your reply to them both!

  2. Ranter said,

    Wow. I don’t know what this woman is trying to accomplish by speaking like that, but it is quite incredulous! Let us know if you get a response from her or the editor. Good for you for your reply to them both!

  3. bridgett said,

    It’s like being used as a tree by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. When you’re seeking interview subjects, it’s sort of basic procedure not to alienate those you ask.

    With such palpable contempt for her topic and subjects as the author exhibits, who exactly does she think will collaborate with her? (Unless she wants to write a story of self-hating women, which seems to be her conceptualization of who fat women are…)

  4. bridgett said,

    It’s like being used as a tree by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. When you’re seeking interview subjects, it’s sort of basic procedure not to alienate those you ask.

    With such palpable contempt for her topic and subjects as the author exhibits, who exactly does she think will collaborate with her? (Unless she wants to write a story of self-hating women, which seems to be her conceptualization of who fat women are…)

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