A penguin and a polar bear are sitting on an iceberg. The penguin yells, "No Soap Radio!" They both jump in the water.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. -- A former college newspaper editor who wrote an article describing rape as a "magical experience" apologized to a large crowd of students and faculty at Central Connecticut State University.

John Petroski's Feb. 7 article in The Recorder was headlined, "Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It." It argued that rape has been a positive force in western civilization and benefits "ugly women."

The 23-year-old sophomore history major was removed as the newspaper's opinion editor over the weekend amid protests by campus groups. Critics also demanded the resignation of editor Mark Rowan and the paper's faculty advisers.

Wow. I'm certainly not the ballsiest person to ever grace the pages of The Carolinian, though what I say is occasionally enough to get a concerned call from my family or comments from classmates, and I'm a big proponent of the George Carlin school of anything can be funny (including rape: "Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd.") so long as you approach it correctly, but even I say they crossed the line on that one.

The closest I've ever come to joking about rape was a Faux News about a year ago, and even that didn't make fun of rape victims. It made fun of the South Dakota conservatives who said a rape victim couldn't get an abortion. Still, some people didn't think it was funny. Unfortunately for them a lot of others did.

I don't see the faculty advisor going down for it, depending on how closely he or she actually worked with the paper. If The Carolinian did something similar to that I can't see Holian going down for it. But how does the head editor defend keeping his job? How are they even considering keeping the writer on staff? That's a sad display of no accoutability.

Either you believe in and back up the things you print or you don't. There is no middle ground. If you're not willing to go to the mattresses defending what you printed then the ink should have never met the paper.


Blogger C. L. Lowrance said...

That last graph especially is why I have no qualms leaving things in your hands this May.

2/14/2007 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Killian said...

I used to date a girl who later became the editor for that paper. She's not there anymore, but she did send me a link to the CNN item with a deadpan notation that she doesn't have to try to stay on top of what's going on at her college paper because they do things like this, that puts a national spotlight on them.


2/14/2007 08:04:00 PM  

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