Monday, November 8, 2010

post vs. post (affiliates)

I love it when people make fun of the Washington Post. I love it even more when people make fun of it and the Post publishes it. And the best is when the mockers are Post-affiliated bloggers, so that when it gets published on the Post's site, it looks as if the Post paid them to do it. The only thing better would be if Gene Weingarten decided to actually write something funny. Now, that would be real subversion, undermining the Post's credo of being eternally boring, morally offensive and increasingly irrelevant.

Alas, we'll settle for Stage 2, in which David Alpert of the Greater Greater Washington blog takes on Post columnist Petula Dvorak over Montgomery Country speed cameras in the Post's local opinions section.

[Dvorak] cheers the recent vandalism and arson against speed cameras, quoting residents pleased by this destruction of county property. She calls the cameras "vile devices," a "gargantuan gotcha," "horrid contraptions" and "a speed tax." Facts? Who cares.

But then again, when has the Post ever really cared about facts...? And why should they? Welcome to the age of modern journalism, when suddenly only having half the story with a quarter of misinformation you gleaned from Twitter is somehow "the future."

But seriously, sh*t's all kinds of annoying no matter where you look in the media. The Post just seems to annoy more than most because it's supposed to be better. We're supposed to expect more. After all, this is the leading paper in the Capital of the Free World. We should probably be able to hire and retain a slew of local columnists who know what they're talking about.

But no. All we got is the guy in the dumb hat, Mustache McTard and Petula Dvorak, who according to Alpert, would prefer more babies to die than have to stop at a red light.

And ask Dvorak to write a column about Samira Kelly and her 16-month-old daughter in Aspen Hill, or the many other people hit or killed in Montgomery County whose deaths might have been prevented or injuries avoided or lessened had some speed cameras taught drivers to follow the law and ease off the pedal.

Although, wait. A column about statistics and dead pedestrians sounds almost suspiciously like news and, God knows, we can't have that in the Washington Post, especially in the local section. Plus, Dvorak is an editorialist. She's not supposed to write anything useful or enlightening. In fact, she missed the most egregious downside of speed cameras -- they malfunction. I've had one go off when I was legally turning right on a red. I stopped, looked out for traffic, then turned. The camera flashed, and yes, I received a ticket in the mail that I paid because, Petula's right -- it was less cost inhibitive for me to just cough up the $30-or-so than try to fight it. Indeed, I felt a little bit raped by the city that day...

But it gets worse. The other day, one snapped a nice photo of me on my bike. And I wasn't even going through a red light. I guess I just crept up a little too close to the crosswalk. Now, what they're going to do with photos of cyclists, I have no idea, but I'm assuming if this happened to me, it must have happened to others. All this makes me want to do is stop at every intersection with a raised middle finger or make some sort of ridiculous face, like when you're on a rollercoaster and you know you're passing by the in-motion souvenir camera. Hey, if it's Glamour Shots at every corner, I might as well make it interesting.

Which is something neither one of these writers -- Dvorak or Alpert -- seem to know how to do. WHO CARES ABOUT MONTGOMERY COUNTY?! If you're a Metro columnist or a DC-based blogger, write something about the goddamn District. Gaithersburg does not count.


Shannon said...

Petula Dvorak gives Sally Quinn a run for her money in terms of egocentric and fact-free editorials.

FoggyDew said...

The fact of the matter is, which you buried I should point out, is that Dvorak is a columnist, not a journalist. Please do not confuse the two. Far be it from me to defend the WaPo, but don't tar the actual newsmen and women with the same brush. I, generally, find the WaPo's actual news and analysis pretty decent.

Anonymous said...

Ditto indifference for Montgomery County.

-Anon Bri

Anonymous said...

Don't let my prof know that! I used an article they wrote about the financial future of Chile as a source in my final project.

Oh, I might, possibly be going to DC or Baltimore in December for a few days.