All Of A Sudden It's OK To Hurl Ethnic Slurs On The New York Times Op-Ed Page
The timid church mice that populate The New York Times copy desk are up to their usual no good.
Numerous transgressions have revealed they tread carefully, or not at all, when it comes to the sacred cows at the paper, namely star critics and columnists who are often unchecked regardless if what they write might be inane, obtuse, incoherent, or just plain wrong.
Or borderline bigotry, in the case of John Tierney.
The sort-of conservative columnist used his column Saturday to provide his three cents about Borat.
Not to worry, he laughed in all the right places and he gives appropriate props to Sacha Baron Cohen.
But he couldn’t walk out of the multiplex feeling sorry for the fine people of Kazakhstan, and what all us xenophobes might think of their land.
They’re depicted as rapists and prostitutes, bigots and idiots. I instinctively side with comedians when the antidefamation police come after them, but in this case I sympathize with the Kazakhs angry at becoming the new global Polack joke. The country has enough problems as is.
Gee, thanks, John for being a First Amendment paragon. But since when did it become OK to put ethnic slurs in an Op-Ed column? Why was it so important for Tierney to straddle his bully pulpit and use “Polack” when he just as easily could have used “Polish?”
Readers could have still given Tierney the knowing glance and validation he was so desperately seeking without having to hurt and alienate an entire ethnic group.
This is not a case of the politically correct police paying a visit to West 43rd St. By any measure, Tierney wouldn’t have gotten away – or so we hope – with using other slurs. Swap out “Polack” with “Wop,” “Kraut” or “Mick.” Even the see-no-evil copy editors probably would have flagged those. Maybe Tierney and the Times view “Polack” as sounding more benign, even playful than the others. But it’s not.
Tierney surely knows that, yet he put the insult in there anyway, almost as if he was daring his editors to take it out. Being of the spineless variety, they declined to take the bait.
Shame on them. And Tierney.