The East Carolinian has published excuses for their lapses in judgment for publishing the appalling exercise in misogyny by Ben Cochran. The editors are all utterly reprehensible.
Kelly Nurge claims it was OK to publish it, because they also published a rebuttal, and “presenting both sides to the issue was important.” She has a bright future ahead of her in he-said/she-said journalism. But you know, sometimes the two sides to an issue are bugfucking pustule-popping insane vs. rational coherent normality. Did the East Carolinian really need an article recommending that women’s reproductive health ought not to be supported by campus medical services because it gets in the way of Ben Cochran’s priority snot-blowing? Is this really an issue that anyone takes seriously anywhere on the freakin’ planet?
Kathryn Little claims that the “editing process is an in-depth one”, and is mainly peeved that an unedited version of Cochran’s piece was released — you know, the one that called a woman’s genitalia a “hatchet wound”, rather than the infinitely more genteel “lady-bits” that was in the edited version. Content, irrelevant; following the official process, essential. Then she seems quite pleased that her paper got national attention. Yeah, there’s another one on the fast-track to a journalism career…Rupert Murdoch has his eye on her, I’m sure.
And lastly, there’s Ben Cochran. This is supposedly an apology. It’s a sneering, sarcastic bit of badly written bombast pretending to be an apology.
If you were among the many who were offended by my column last week, then let me take this opportunity to offer you a heartfelt apology. I am well aware that my stance was not a popular one. As an Opinion columnist, my primary goal is to generate informed discussion. To that end, I intentionally try to be provocative. As such, sometimes my columns offend people. Please understand that my intent was not to cause people to become enraged. I simply hoped they would disagree with the expressed opinion and state reasons for that disagreement. I wanted to see a lively debate, and hopefully, learn something in the process. The position I argued for is a valid opinion by virtue of the fact that it is an opinion. Unfortunately, my word choice was not the best. I cannot believe I said “conscientious” when I really meant “conscious,” among other things. From now on, I will take greater care to exercise better judgment. As always, your responses are welcomed and encouraged.
Often, campus newspapers are almost fully independent — students are just handed the responsibility of putting a paper together with minimal faculty supervision. Sometimes, they end up wallowing so deep in juvenilia and irresponsible scribbling that it’s clear that they do need some more mature guidance, especially when they drag the reputation of a place like East Carolina University into disrepute. Have these students had any training in journalism? Or is this what passes for responsible journalism at ECU?
Offending people is fine when you’ve got a purpose and a goal behind it. I fail to see anywhere in Cochran’s whiny rant any reason or justification for regarding women with such contempt. It is true that his opinion that women are sluts, harlots, sex mongers, and sex fiends is actually an opinion, but usually in an opinion column you’re expected to defend your controversial position, not just assume it as given.