Democracy Has Prevailed.

June 5, 2015

More On Jennifer Graham (A Round-Up Of Coverage) - UPDATED

As you probably already know, brand new P-G columnist Jennifer Graham caused something of an upheaval yesterday with the publication of this bit of transgender hostility.

Let's walk through the on-line responses:
  • Lynn Cullen took an look at it yesterday (she starts in on the column at about 53 minutes in)
  • Charlie Deitch over at the City Paper had this to say:
    This piece represents the worst kind of thinking on this subject. Also, it seems to come completely out of left field for the one daily newspaper in town that isn’t the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. It’s really sad and disheartening.
  • Charlie points to this piece by Parker Malloy, which is a letter to Graham:
    What value has your hateful screed added to the world? And this isn’t just about Caitlyn Jenner. This is about all the transgender people (particularly transgender women of color) who are murdered, lose their jobs, are denied healthcare, etc. because of who they are (and it’s not a “lifestyle choice.” I assure you that I would be dead had I not come to terms with myself.)

    I really, truly hope you can how unnecessarily hateful and hurtful the words used in your column are. I am open to having a conversation if you truly want to understand the group of people you just labeled “freak shows.”But I’ll leave that up to you. I wish nothing but the best for you, even if you can’t see people like me for who we are.
  • Then there's Trish over at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents:
    Anyway. Fast-forward to today. And the Post-Gazette has squeezed out an awful, horrible, fetid column by associate editor Jennifer Graham, which refers to Caitlyn Jenner as a “he/she” and says transgender people “would have headlined the tragic freak shows in carnivals of old.”
  • Trish also pointed something things out here:
    What a proud, new hire for the Post-Gazette. Is this where I should mention that earlier this year, the Post-Gazette’s Mackenzie Carpenter and Michael Fuoco were nominated for an award by GLAAD, the media-monitoring organization that tries to ensure fair coverage of LGBTQ issues? I think it is!
  • The Delta Foundation put this on its Facebook page:
    While we have come so far, there is still so much more work to do.
And then there were the letters to the editor at the P-G.
  • Like this one:
    So it is inexcusable for newspapers, like the Post-Gazette, to give a voice to a bully to further propagate the hate crimes perpetrated against our community. We did not make an active choice to be LGBTQ+, but Ms. Graham made an active choice to be offensive. As journalists, you must do better.
  • And this one:
    Jennifer Graham and the Post-Gazette should be ashamed of themselves. It’s time to stop policing people’s bodies and supporting difficult and courageous choices.

    I would think the Post-Gazette, the newspaper that recently received an award for LGBTQ coverage, would want smarter, kinder and less judgmental people working for them. This is unacceptable and despicable.
And that's just two of them.

Of course, there's what Maria wrote and then what I wrote.

Needless to say if the now infamous JennyG wanted to make a dramatic entrance to the Pittsburgh market, she could not have caused a bigger ruckus.

Did I miss any local coverage?  PLEASE let me know and I'll update accordingly.


UPDATE: The story's gone national.  The Human Rights Campaign sent a letter to P-G editor-in-chief David Shribman, to complain about Graham and her column.  It begins this way:
On behalf of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and our more than 1.5 million members and supporters, I am writing to you regarding a despicably offensive and inaccurate column by your employee, Jennifer Graham. Simply put, after submitting a piece so utterly lacking truth or decency, she should be relieved of her role as a columnist. Surely there is a writer somewhere in my one-time home of Pittsburgh who can do better than this.
And then there's this a few paragraphs later:
A piece arguing against LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination laws would have been reasonable, though incorrect. The same goes for a piece critiquing the media’s fascination with the Jenner story over a different story that the author argued deserved greater attention. But what Ms. Graham wrote—and your paper published—is hate speech, plain and simple.
Looking forward to seeing his response.


spork_incident said...

Maybe the P-G wanted to take some heat off of Jack K. Regardless, this speaks poorly of the Blockheads and considering how much the rag is starting the resemble Supermarket Shopper I have to wonder what the hell is going on over there.


Unknown said...

Don't forget her National Review gem from 2003 --

It is clear that Shrib knew who he was hiring, particularly when you scour her public think-pieces. This was a cheap and cynical attempt to turn gay/trans* panic into exposure for the PG. Lest I also forget Shrib's vapid, "Who knows what is true?" centrism during his post-2001 days at the PG.

It says a lot when a notoriously socially conservative, notoriously (at best) ambivalent town came together to say "WTF" and "please fire this doofus." I (due to dispiriting experiences) expected much less outrage.