Douchebag Decree: New York Post

"ye olde douchebag decree" in blue letters with a light blue hand-drawn douchebag in the background, and "BITCH HEREBY DECLARES THE FOLLOWING PERSON A TOTAL DOUCHEBAG" in small letters in red underneath.

The New York Post, certainly no stranger to sensationalist sleaze, raised regular readers’ eyebrows with Wednesday’s cover. Yesterday’s cover likened the “up and down, and down and up” US stock market activity to “a hooker’s drawers.” Is this for real? You bet your wits it is:

New York Post, Stock Market cover, August 10, 2011 

In an article titled, “What a ride! Stocks rise & fall & rise,” Chuck Bennett summed up Monday and Tuesday’s fickle US market with talk about the global economy, US Federal Reserve, low interest rates, and gold, which by the way, closed at $1,774 an ounce—it’s a good time to invest. Wait… what about the “hooker?”  Bennett made no mention of any “hooker,” instead comparing the recent rises and falls to a roller coaster. Oh, I see. So, the cover is just a ploy to get readers to pick up The Post and turn to page 5. And, a friendly reminder to readers of the NY Post’s fixation with “hookers” and now “drawers.” Or is it?

This isn’t funny. It’s beyond absurd. It’s sexist, chauvinistic, and misogynistic all at once (oh, and there’s the ableism of the word “crazy,” too, of course)—but you know that already. Let’s coin a new phrase: Why, it’s sex-chau-gynistic, the epic epitome of gender degradation with a heaping side of job disparagement (let’s not forget the NY Post has a history of racism too, recalling Delonas’ sickly insensitive cartoon from early 2009).

Perhaps this NY Post cover is an unconscious admission from Murdoch-media and its minions (heavily invested in the market, noted below in Murdoch’s conference-call) that the people of Wall Street have done the people of this country wrong, and the Murdoch-managed tabloid chose to equate stock market sins with a popular public’s perception that sex work is also a sin?

The media outlets’ reactions to the brazen “stox” cover were pretty much what you’d expect. Solange Uwimana of Media Matters for America rounded up responses in a post, interestingly titled, “Will Conservative Media Figures Denounce NY Post As Forcefully As They Assailed Newsweek?” Unsurprisingly, Murdoch-owned Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld, The Five, said this at the panel table:

When someone’s trying to explain the stock market to me, they have to do it in very,  very simple ways like the New York Post did… for somebody like me who doesn’t understand the stock market or the economy, they’re putting it out there in plain, simple language.

 Geez Gutfeld, I dare you to say sex-chau-gynistic-with-a-heaping-side-of-job-degradation five times as fast as you can to show us just how simple that language is. And I double-bet sidekick Napolitano won’t be able to keep his mouth shut.

 Sarcastic dares aside, this is a classic example of that snowball syndrome that rolls on through the media, perpetuating stereotypes and excusing journalistic passivity rather than inciting reactivity to question the integrity of how a story—or in this instance, the cover of the NY Post—is portrayed to and consumed by the public. If the “hooker” analogy is okay for the cover, someone might think it’s okay to make a similar analogy to someone else at the office. Not so much, and New York magazine agrees: 

If your boss said something like this to you at work, not only would it be unfunny, but it might be called sexual harassment.

Uwimana included Chloe Angyal, from Feministing, in the roundup too, which lead to Vanessa Valenti’s response in the post, “The New York Post somehow surpasses rock bottom,” yesterday:

For serious. The New York Post to journalism is like your incoherent sexist, racist, uncle of the family. Get with the times, dude.  

Oddly enough, hours after this NY Post hit stands, Murdoch took his first U.S. conference call addressing analysts and reporters since the News of the World scandal, where some NoW press staff illegally accessed the voice mail of some 4,000 people to obtain story leads. Murdoch, yesterday, eased Wall Street concerns about the recently-troubled stock-dropping News Corporation, Murdoch’s own media conglomerate. He also made clear his intention to remain its CEO amid speculation that he’d give his seat to partner Chase Carey.

Call it a longshot, but wasn’t the timing of the brazen NY Post cover a strange coincidence to the timing of Murdoch’s public statement that he and News Corp aren’t going anywhere? Was this a way for the world of Murdoch to give the finger to the public all the while, silently shouting, I’m here to stay, shove it and the cigarette-touting “hooker” stock-market analogy up yours? I wouldn’t put it past the media mogul.

However, I prefer to be optimistic, always looking for the good in a situation. So, yeah, the NY Post’s creep-cover stint may be a dirty attempt to distract the U.S. public from jumping on the News Corps scrutiny bandwagon (maybe to launch a similar investigation of the NY Post’s reporting tactics and Poof!… shut it down. Okay, that’s not optimism, that’s wishful thinking).  Emma Bazilian of Adweek recently noted:

Employees of the New York Post have received emails from editor Col Allan and their parent company’s lawyers asking them to hold on to any hacking-related documents in light of the current News Corp. investigation, according to memos published by Jim Romenesko at Poynter.

Though The Huffington Post, yesterday, suggested that the cover had something to do with some ‘07 editorial rivalry between the The Post and the New York Daily News, where then-Daily News editor Martin Dunn made a trashy comment about the New York Post

Its price goes up and down like a whore’s drawers on the West Side Highway.

Regardless, this type of sexist talk among editors—albeit tabloid but editors nonetheless; flagrant chauvinism, indicative of the dearth of women in said positions and trading on Wall Street; and, misogynist mindsets, perpetrating has-been stereotypes of sex workers, are all the more reason we thank you for keeping Bitch in print. It’s our very special way—you, me, Bitch—of giving the media conglomerates, Yoo-hoo! NY Post… over here, the finger.

Previously: Birth Control Backlash, Chick Beer, the “Beer for Women”

by Nicole Morales
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1 Comment Has Been Posted

What says more about the post?

The headline or the photo? Stox? Really? That screams quality news. Or the photo they used, cigarette and all. I am thankful you found the words because I am just speechless.

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