Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Does This Picture Make You "Want To Throw Up?"

Two men kissing

If not, then you are not "normal."

At least, according to one Washington Post reader who had nothing better to do than join the horde of wingnuts typing and dialing furiously to the WaPo's ombudsman. Been going on for close to a week now, apparently, ever since the WaPo ran the above on its front page, after the good news that we noted.

Here's an anecdotal measure of what's wrong with our country:

Post circulation vice president Gregg Fernandes said that late last week 27 subscribers canceled, specifically citing the photo. In contrast, The Post reported only two cancellations immediately after last July’s ethics uproar over its ill-advised plan to sell sponsorships to off-the-record “salon” dinners at the publisher’s residence.

Good on ombudsman Andrew Alexander, though, for essentially telling those people to go DIAF:

Did the Post go too far? Of course not. The photo deserved to be in newspaper and on its Web site, and it warranted front-page display.

News photos capture reality. And the prominent display reflects the historic significance of what was occurring. The recent D.C. Council decision to approve same-sex marriage was the culmination of a decades-long gay rights fight for equality. Same-sex marriage is now legal in the District. The photo of Ames and Ariga kissing simply showed joy that would be exhibited by any couple planning to wed – especially a couple who previously had been denied the legal right to marry.

There was a time, after court-ordered integration, when readers complained about front-page photos of blacks mixing with whites. Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change.

(h/t: Jim Newell)

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