Sunday, November 13, 2005

Step right up Kate . . .

Kate Parry that is. Parry makes her first appearance on the Cucking School today. Let’s give her a big stool of repentance welcome! Kate is the reader’s representative at the Star Tribune newspaper, and today she mounted a spirited but largely ineffective defense of Katie. Katie is of course Spot’s pet name for Katherine Kersten, which he is loathe to abandon, so between Kate and Katie, this might get complicated, gentle readers. Spotty recommends attentiveness.

By the way, if you were going to invent a character in a novel whose job it was to deflect reader complaints to a newspaper, you would name her Ms. Parry, wouldn't you? Sort of like Premiere Kisoff in Dr. Strangelove.

Kate starts out by saying, Boy, that Katie; she really makes a lot of people mad! She does, and dogs, too! But that is what columnists are supposed to do, says Kate, all over the political spectrum. Kate spends the rest of the column telling us how perfectly ordinary a columnist Katie (Spot told you this would get complicated) really is.

Katie’s column last Monday predicting hell fire and damnation to Canada for permitting same-sex marriage apparently made Kate put in some extra time last week. It really was a standard Katie polemical tract. Apparently, people didn’t like Katie’s attempt to attribute something that took place in 2001 as being caused by events in 2005:
In a column on Page B1 Monday about the debate over same-sex marriage in Canada, Katherine Kersten described discipline imposed on a British Columbia teacher and a human rights complaint filed against a Roman Catholic bishop. Both had expressed general disapproval of homosexual behavior while supporting traditional male-female marriage. While much of the column dealt with events in recent months, the charges against the teacher were filed in 2001.

This is the “clarification” issued by the Strib in response to complaints. There were other complaints too, apparently nearly 140 in total through Tuesday, the day after the column ran.

Spotty was going to write that Katie is a laughable buffoon, but it is more serious than that. Katie is a vicious scold. She has castigated gays, people holding anti-Iraq war sentiments, people who don’t worship the Lord Jesus in the manner that she prescribes, public school teachers, George Bush denigrators, 9/11 apostates, sloppy dressers, non-representational artists, liberals in general, and even her friends – for buying a lottery ticket. There is nobody who can’t get the woodshed treatment from this communis rixatrix. Nobody. But that is not what Spotty wants to discuss today.

Spotty wants to talk about journalism, an honorable craft to which Katie is wholly unacquainted. Katie’s screeds are to journalism what junior high potty talk is to erotica. Katie thinks that the main purpose of her column is to give her a platform to parrot right wing talking points. This she does quite well, although not very originally. Spotty says that Doug Tice, her boss, should kick Katie’s arse out of the newsroom once in a while and make her actually talk to people, instead of doing telephone interviews with Father Coughlin’s doppelganger in British Columbia, or wherever.

For Katie, the facts are always subservient to the Point, and malleable, too. Katie always has a Point in mind when she sits down to peck at the Underwood. Next to George Bush, Katie is the most incurious person that Spotty has ever encountered. Maybe including George Bush.

Add lazy to incurious. Katie is willing to lift entire sections of a column from other sources, as Spotty demonstrated in his post Conservative Reverb. And by the way Katie, no Kate, if this is the post you are referring to when writing about putting Katie’s columns through plagiarism software, you are quite mistaken. Spot found those similarities the old fashioned way. It wasn’t that hard.

What annoyed Spot the most Kate, was your defense of Katie by comparing her to Nick Coleman. Whether a reader agrees with Coleman or not, Spot says you have to agree that Nick is 1) a veteran newspaperman, 2) who lives in the reality-based community, 3) can write with energy and clarity, and 4) is not a mouthpiece for a political party. For ten points, compare and contrast with Katie.

There is more that Spot could write, and may write in coming days, but for now he will conclude with this. There will come a time when the Star Tribune recognizes that Katie is a blot on the Strib’s escutcheon, perhaps not for her opinions, but certainly for the perfidiousness and the artlessness of everything she writes.

Tags: can't hold a candle to

No comments: