Thursday, February 18, 2010

Inky irony, or what?

STYLE Weekly fires a reporter, Chris Dovi, for saying/writing the wrong thing in a private email that went to the wrong person.

To read the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s article on the firing click here.

Then, the very same week, the magazine runs a Back Page diatribe written by Roy West about Doug Wilder. STYLE's editors called the rather incoherent rant by one former mayor about another former mayor "Inglorious Bastard."
The whetstone of [Wilder’s] pantomime of leadership has been the propensity to make substance irrelevant. Byzantine approaches have resulted in a myriad of successful failures. When the leaves of history books are peeled back on his historic election as governor no great deeds of his will be recorded. Revealed will be a vindictive, broken trust and chosen wrong era of governance. The ingloriousness of his tenure will be spotlighted by his willingness to be the unapologetic and unabashed advocate for the lacerated and bane agenda of neoconservatives. With principles sacrificed and integrity lost, Wilder was their reliable avatar to devalue the human spirit. History will confirm the errancy of Wilder’s actions, which appealed to the anxieties rather than aspirations; and angst rather than hope of Virginians.

It’s worth noting that the word “bastard” doesn’t appear in the text of West’s poison pen piece (click here to try to read it). That loaded word appears only in the title.

Yes, it’s an eye-catching title, but a reading of West’s meandering hash of words doesn’t offer many clues to support the decision by the periodical’s editors to use “bastard” as they did. (I must admit I haven’t seen the most recent Quentin Tarantino cinematic bloodletting, so I can’t say whether there’s some connection in it to Wilder.)

Some might call this juxtaposition of events to do with the propriety of certain words in particular situations “irony.” Others might choose a more inglorious word.

Click here to watch Mark Holmberg's WTVR commentary.


fouro said...

Wow, they let that pea soup go to print? Chris did a dumb thing in the heat of a frustrating moment. What's the excuse of all the other adults involved in this Clusterfuck? They had, relatively speaking, all the time in the world to _consider_ their actions and responses and made a much more incoherent hash of it than Roy West.

F.T. Rea said...


Well, now Dovi is becoming a disposable hero to a crowd that loves to rant at the mainstream media. Riding that 15-minutes-of-fame tiger will be an adventure for him.

He made a mistake most of us have made -- hitting the wrong button. He was more unlucky than some of us. Hell, I've sorely regretted several emails I sent deliberately ... a little too late at night.

Seems to me STYLE has moved awkwardly and certainly put itself in a bad light. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. Now there's a Facebook page devoted to Dovi's plight.