It’s no secret the NY Post ain’t the most gay-friendly paper. In addition to their illustrated send-ups (see above), the Rupert Murdoch owned paper frequently refers to gay folk as “flamboyant” or, most recently, “toe-tappers”.
How can a New York-based paper perpetuate such stereotypes? We live in one of the greatest, gayest cities in the world. Surely there must be some reason behind their backward, archaic attitudes.
In an attempt to get to the bottom of this journalistic mystery, Portfolio‘s media maven Jeff Bercovici did a little digging.
And he doesn’t like what he found.
While most newsrooms pride themselves on a diverse staff, Bercovici says, The Post seems to pride itself on exclusion. If not in theory, than definitely in practice. Of the few gays at the paper, none work in the news room. It’s not because the paper refuses to hire fagalas, but a general air of heterosexism.
The consensus among the Posties I spoke with is that the paper doesn’t discriminate in its hiring. Rather, the paucity of gay employees results from the Post’s stridently anti-P.C. editorial tone and frathouse office atmosphere. “It’s not a culturally welcoming environment,” says the ex-editor. “It’s a locker-room environment — raucous, sexist, quite misogynist.”
Some of it flows from editor in chief Col Allan, whom the ex-editor describes as an equal-opportunity offender: “He makes everyone feel uncomfortable. Any weakness or perceived difference he dumps on. He’s the kind of guy who can make racist and sexist jokes and get away with it.”
Sounds like a real mensch.
Allan and his ilk strive for right-wing, in-your-face content, but can’t maintain status quo with a bunch of queers running around. They may not discriminate, but they’re certainly not keen to regulate. Writes Bercovici:
Of course, for Col Allan and his band of “pirates,” offending right-thinking people is in the mission statement. But to the extent that their ability to keep on offending people without interference from within depends on preserving an environment where gays feel unwanted, they’re guilty of something a whole lot more sinister than journalistic malpractice.
Malpractice? Try abortion.