The Post recently featured a story by reporter Monica Hesse that ran on the front of the Style section while she was on vacation. The day before returning, she logged on to check e-mails — and wept.
She was buried by an avalanche of messages angrily attacking her lengthy Aug. 28 profile of Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the group leading the fight against legalization of same-sex marriage.
I hope you all feel very bad now.
It also turns out, the ombudsman reveals, that Hesse is bisexual, so we’re supposed to believe that there’s no way she could have tilted the article to favor anti-gay marriage whack jobs. Of course,
a commenter commenter Bill E Pilgrim on the article (via Atrios) explains:
The Washington Post writer was worried about offending right wing conservatives, and hoped to avoid getting hate mail from them.
Anyway, reporters who cry when they get angry email really ought to find another line of work.
Update. I realize this might sound callous. But there are millions of gay Americans being demonized by Brian Brown. How on earth could Hesse not expect to get an angry reaction for writing an article that openly promoted Brown? I stand by what I said: if angry email about a biased piece on a politically and emotionally charged topic makes you cry, you really shouldn’t be a journalist.
Update update. I guess the point isn’t that she cried or didn’t cry but that her reaction was to run to the ombudsman and say “they made me cry” rather than “I think I wrote too much of a puff piece.” Obviously, people can cry at work as much as they want to if it doesn’t interfere with their ability to do the job. But they shouldn’t use “they made me cry” as a way of deflecting legitimate criticism.