Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Low-quality Reporting

The quality of reporting at the NYTIMES is irredeemably poor. I’m trying to read an article about Tonya Harding but it goes on and on in the following vein:

Ms. Harding swiped on her lipstick perfectly without a mirror: one coat of Wet n Wild 523B (Light Berry Frost) covered by a layer of Wet n Wild 530D (Dark Pink Frost). She laced up her tiny Harlick skate boots that she had painted pantyhose beige, which were attached to gold-plated MK Vantage blades, and put stirrups over her leggings and beneath the blades so that her lines would look longer and she would look taller.

What is this, product placement? And the whole article is like that. Lipstick, nail polish, pantyhose, brand names, and no substance whatsoever. I understand that the journalist feels justifiably disgusted by this vacuous, vapid narcissist. But why not let readers draw their own conclusions and not bathe them in your contempt for the subject so aggressively?


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13 thoughts on “Low-quality Reporting

  1. Shakti on said:

    It’s an article about an interview with female figure skater, a lady in a “feminine” sport, in the arts and entertainment section of the paper, so of course they name check all the dumb brands she’s wearing when she skates.

    It’s like how People and In Style always lets you know how old celebrities are and lets you know what they’re wearing when they meet the interviewer.

    Cate Blanchett, 85, looks like a young girl. She is soigné in a purple Thom Browne mumuu and fresh Bonne Belle Lipsmacker lipgross in Strawberry. She orders a plate of greens & bacon. She is ethereal. ‘It’s genes. And fresh raw water.’ She is trolling me.


  2. Vanessa Sosa on said:

    That and Wet n Wild is a cheap brand of lipstick found at Walgreens, they’re about two dollars a tube and the colors have silly names. It’s sort of like how they’re suggesting Harding comes from a poor background because wealthy people don’t buy drugstore makeup most of the time. Just my two cents


  3. Do they have affiliate link to all the products mentioned? That would be the icing on the cake.


    • It’s totally going in that direction. Soon, we’ll see things like “At the meeting President Trump wore a Brioni suit [link]” with a percentage of sales going to the president and his agent.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Stringer Bell on said:

    I think those descriptors have been inserted to point to her class without using the term white trash.

    “She’s not like you, dear nytimes reader. She buys her $1.5 lipstick from Walmart”.


    • Vanessa Sosa on said:

      Actually $2 lipstick from Walgreens where I bought mine, but I agree. Wet n Wild is a lot cheaper than MAC or Loreal, it’s a veiled way to say Harding came from a poor family


    • She is not like any normal person. Unfortunately, I recognize malignant narcissists from a distance. I wish I didn’t but I do and they scare me, no matter what lipstick they use.


  5. “I understand that the journalist feels justifiably disgusted by this vacuous, vapid narcissist”

    Where’s your class loyalty? Harding was an interesting figure. She came from a terrible dysfunctional household and while she had the talent to break out of it the coping skills that helped her survive amid the dysfunction worked against her once she hit the big time. It’s kind of a mini-tragedy about just how fixed class can be in the US.


  6. Fie upon this quiet life on said:

    I read the article from the Times, too, and kept wondering when they would stop talking about what name to call her and get on with the story. It was very poor writing.


  7. maitreyi1978 on said:

    Oh please tell us more about how you recognize her as a malignant narcissist! I like it when you analyze people!

    I love this case so much because it occurred during my figure skating phase. Not that I ever skated but when I was obsessed with watching it on TV. Tonya reminds me of Nixon in a way. Very talented but undone by paranoia and personal flaws.

    There’s a new movie about her coming out soon.


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