Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Lady is a Tramp

Here's a light-hearted piece from a marketing consultant named Betsy Perry which ran in the Huffington Post last week and which manages, in fewer than 500 words, to incorporate so many offensive and idiotic remarks about Mexico that, really, it defies our ability to excerpt it and still do justice to the author's ignorance. Just go read the whole thing.

We vastly preferred Perry's letter of resignation to Mayor Bloomberg, who had appointed her to the NYC Commission on Women's Issues, not just because it's concise and invective-free, but because it's dated Cinco de Mayo. Good luck in whatever you decide to do next. Douche.


Anonymous said...

did you see her update saying she asked for it to be taken down? hilarious.

Burro Hall said...

Yeah. She "crossed the line between cute and offensive." Which are, y'know, right next to each other.

Ellen Kimball said...

Just to set the record straight, I don't know the woman. Apparently she did have a change of heart and posted this:

Statement from Betsy Perry regarding the piece below:

"One of the challenges for any blogger is to write fast, write short, and get people to find your way of thinking sharp and funny. No question that my post today was written too fast, wasn't short enough, and turned out to be neither sharp nor funny. I see now that it crossed the line between cute and offensive. For that, I really do apologize, and I have asked that the post be taken down."

(I guess HuffPo decided to leave the original post there.)


Ellen Kimball said...

On behalf of politically active women everywhere, I apologize for this insensitive and bigoted piece.

I am not casting the first stone. Years ago, in the 1970s, I was on the radio for WEEI-AM in Boston as the first woman with a daily call-in show.

One morning, we got to discussing Adolf Hitler. I guess I got bored with the conversation, and made the off-handed remark that "we ought to forgive and forget Hitler."

The entire Jewish community of Boston descended on me "en masse" by telephone and by letter. I was called on the carpet by one of the leader of a prominent local group who demanded that I meet with him and the radio station general manager, Don Trageser.

Everybody got together on the 44th Floor of the Prudential Building in Boston.

That was when Trageser revealed that I was Jewish. This is despite my English maiden name KIMBALL, which was chosen as a corruption of some native name in the early 1900s. Both of my grandfathers were immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia.

I apologized for my insensitive remark at that meeting and for at least a couple of weeks afterwards.

Later, I became the person the Jewish groups bragged about. They sent their press releases to me and I joyfully read them all on the air. As I recall, I even was chosen as a speaker by couple of Jewish community groups during the ensuing years.


Richard Grabman (in a thankfully sane country) said...

EK... we're all entitled to a "get out of boneheadedness free" card... provided, like you did, that you fess up right away. Ms. Perry, apparently did not. The "apology" was not for the remarks, but some lame excuse that she was "hurried."

The written word is not the spoken word, and unlike a radio call-in show, there are editors at publications (or there should be). This was both Ms. Perry AND the Huffington Post acting irresponsibly and with malice.

There's another example of it today. A post of mine (on Mexican prostitution) was excerpted by the HuffPo -- without my permission mind you -- and run with a photograph of Mexican high school girls. Clearly, the implication is that Mexican women are de facto sluts, which indicates to me there is a serious editorial problem with that publication.

Burro Hall said...

As happy as I am to see Perry humiliated and ridiculed, I do feel uneasy about HuffPost's policy of not taking down an article even after the author of said piece asks for it to be taken down. I'd hate to be unable to erase some of the dumbass shit I've written here.

Though I've never written anything quite as dumb as she did.

Jorge Arturo said...

The most amazing thing for me is that she was a Marketing consultant and working for the politics... she wasn't clever enough to know that her comments were not a good marketing thing for her nor diplomatic. Lousy consultant don't you think?

Ellen Kimball said...

Hello Richard,

Thanks for your thoughtful response. Sorry for your individual strife at HuffPo.

I'm sure you know that there are program directors and general managers at radio stations who serve about the same function that editors do in the print media. Talk shows have delay features to keep explicit language off the air. A lot has changed in this new era, but that is still the same.

We had regular meetings with radio management on what could be assumed to be sensitive topics. It's pretty much the same as today: abortion, bigotry towards any race or religion, bussing to achieve racial balance (that was while I was in Boston in the 1970s), capital punishment, drugs, local and national government issues, gun control, politics, sexuality, and war.

CBS followed the rules and we all tried to give equal time to both sides in those days. Generally, all the talk hosts were liberals (except one conservative who was VERY opinionated at a locally-owned station -- not CBS).

Talent was warned that we had to abide by FCC rules and we were pretty active in doing that. I had one brush when I gave birth control information to a deep-voiced boy of 14. I did not know his age when I took the call. Somehow that got ironed out and the station was not fined for any of my comments.

A few years ago, I took part in a fairly active political forum during the period of November 2004-July 2008. I consider that to be Internet writing.

For most of it, I was known as Radio_Lady (Ellen Kimball). I even had a webjournal through the site.

Most of the time, it was a great resource. Interaction with people was fairly polite and moderated by other members. However, eventually there was so much personal attack and disinformation on that site that it became uncomfortable and hard to manage.

The final twisting of my own personal and political values, thoughts, and goals made it impossible to continue and there was a "parting of the ways" with management.

Along the way, there were several copyright issues. One elderly author, a former CBS producer who contributes to SmirkingChimp.org and others, said I had permission to post his whole politically-charged article on a forum. Management hedged by allowing members to post only four paragraphs of articles in general, then provide a link with attribution.

There are archived threads (some locked by the moderators) attacking me personally in which I tried to defend myself. Now that I am gone, the management doesn't want to hear from me.

I don't know what HuffPo requires as only read there occasionally.

Quoting words out of context and using them without attribution are maddening. As you probably know, the courts consider the Internet to be the new "Wild West" and many decisions will have to be made on the new media before any of this is settled.

Appreciate the chance for this interchange. Warm regards,

Ellen Kimball (Radio_Lady)
Portland, OR