Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 10:14 pm est

Coleburn responds to media criticism

Posted on February 4, 2014 | by Christina Coleburn

Washington Square News published the latest installment of my weekly opinion column on Feb. 3. I discussed Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis in conjunction with claims that the GOP has waged a war on women. The piece has generated a great deal of controversy since its publication, even being highlighted on a conservative news radio station. At present time, my article has received 28 comments, many of which express discontent with the content and structure of the piece. In light of these critiques, I wanted to take the opportunity to clarify my position and any miscommunications that I may have conveyed.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am noting that the piece was originally published under a title I felt was inappropriate. When I first read the title, which I did not choose, I immediately contacted our management team to select a more apt title. I do not believe that all GOP members are sexist toward Wendy Davis — that assessment is intellectually dishonest. My point is that a few prominent conservatives, like Erick Erickson and Todd Kincannon, have made derogatory remarks that perpetuate the notion of a war on women. I did not intend to debate whether the war actually exists. Still, polling figures show that Republicans have trouble connecting with female voters, which is why Davis, a woman who is in contention with the right, was used as my primary example. This does not mean that I completely agree with Davis or endorse the discrepancies in her biography. For the record, I largely disagree with her abortion policy and believe critiquing the discrepancies is fair. What I take issue with is resorting to sexism instead of engaging on policy.

Another critique I received was that I deliberately ignored misogyny against conservative politicians. As I wrote in the comments forum, any form of sexism against a woman who seeks to serve her country and run for office is disgusting and reprehensible, regardless of her political leanings. This statement applies to Gov. Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter and other conservative women who have received less-recognized attacks. I am fully aware that both liberals and conservatives can hold misogynistic views. While I agree that sexism against Republican females should be more greatly discussed, my particular piece was not a medium where it could be effectively explored. My focus was the war on women, whether real or imaginary, and how it affects the GOP. The topic of general sexism — toward women who lean right, left or in between — should be reserved for a separate opinion where it can be properly discussed.

Ultimately, my goal in composing my weekly column is to facilitate productive discussions. While the response to my article was initially overwhelming, I am glad to inspire an open conversation. Debating means that we care about the course of our government, our representatives and the future of our country. It means that despite our differences, we share a common goal. Although my perception of the GOP’s image may differ from a reader’s, the fact that we engaged in a productive discussion speaks to our concern for the issues. In the end, that is enough for me.

Christina Coleburn is a deputy opinion editor. Email her at ccoleburn@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next