The UK boasts universal healthcare, tea flowing like wine, and Conservatives who sound like our Democrats when it comes to gun control and reproductive justice. A foreigner unfamiliar with the journalism landscape in the UK would have no reason to question the country’s progressive values.
The Sun is the UK’s widest-circulation newspaper and is read by more than two million people every day. It is published by News UK, a subsidiary of News Corps, and owned by Rupert Murdoch – i.e., it’s about as far right as the UK gets. I never purchased The Sun, but for the entire four years I lived in the UK I saw it most days I ventured out of my house; it’s absolutely everywhere. The paper costs £2 (just under $4.00), boasts amazing sports coverage, celebrity and political news and a TV guide. But where The Sun sharply diverts from newspapers we’re used to in America is on its third page. Page 3 is a cultural institution: in every issue for the past 40 years, there has been a topless young woman on the third page, referred to as “Page 3 girls.”
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“In my 20s I used to cry about why I wasn’t thinner or prettier … [I] used to cry about things like, ‘I wish my hair would grow faster. I wish I had different shoes.’ I was an idiot. … Sure, criticism can sometimes still get to me. Some things are so malicious, they knock the wind out of you … It’s like I’m managing to achieve all this success in spite of my affliction … Would you ever put that in the headline for a male star?”
Well, I’ll admit that The Frisky is part of the problem here, because most of what we post about Melissa McCarthy has to do with her weight, too. The media does have a tendency to cover successful larger women just as successful larger women. I get why the media does it — because bigger, body positive role models are still relatively rare. But Melissa has a point: bigger male actors aren’t dealing with this shit. Melissa deserves to be covered the same way as other funny ladies, like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Focus on the funny, not on the size. [People]
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper has dropped conservative columnist George Will in part due to his recent column arguing that being a rape victim is a “coveted status” on a college campus that “confers privileges.” The newspaper insinuated that Will’s column had been on the chopping block for awhile but this sexual assault column “made the decisions easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.” Will is going to be replaced by another conservative columnist, the paper said. Finally, some repercussions. [Politico]
This kind of bullshit makes my blood boil: the New York Post‘s cover today shows a picture of New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray with the headline, “I WAS A BAD MOM.” It references an article that just came out in New York magazine about McCray’s life in which she writes about her difficulties balancing work and motherhood.
But did McCray actually ever call herself a “bad mom”? Of course not. Keep reading »
Yesterday afternoon, the news broke that Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times and the first-ever woman to hold that position, was leaving her position. Managing editor Dean Baquet would be replacing her, making him the first-ever African-American executive editor at the Times.
Jill Abramson had been managing editor at the Times (the number two position) since 2003 and before that was the Washington, D.C. bureau chief and an investigative reporter. She was appointed executive editor at the Times back in June 2011. If you don’t give a shit about the NYC media scene, the news may have simply looked like a personnel issue, indistinguishable from any other revolving door news item. But details about Abramson’s tenure and exit point to something bigger — shedding light on how the Times may have mistreated its first female executive editor and illustrating what it still means today to be a woman in power. Keep reading »