........................................................................Home | Books | Bio | c.v. ............................. ... ...

Weekly blogger Wilson draws own mob

An angry lavender lynchmob cut local LA Weekly scribe Simone Wilson little slack today after she dealt with the sexual violation of CBS correspondent Lara Logan in a direct but occasionally insouciant way at the beleaguered alt weekly's Informer blog.

Local HuffPo beauty-beat writer and occasional Fourth-Wave feminist Pandora Young appraises the I-posse impetus at MediaBistro:
She remarked repeatedly on Logan’s good looks and made note of her controversial sexual history. Worst of all perhaps was Wilson’s description of the attack...
&c. The Weekly/Wilson also called Logan a "firecracker" and a "gutsy stunner."

The fact that the Weekly regularly panders to rightie agitprop locally certainly engenders contempt among LA's scattered, well-meaning sociopolitical chatterers, myself among them. But vilifying this kind of discussion of Logan also only trivializes the greater point of her story: the dangers of honest reporting for anyone, cynical dispatcher or suicide blonde, from a revolution or a war zone. In identifying these risks and setting them against a well-known side of Logan's well-known persona, while not the way many would frame the event, Wilson's column, I think, was actually less objectionable than it might initially appear.

But I also see the matter in yet another way, specific to the publication at which it appeared. It seems that all scribes involved with the Weekly, past and present alike, have collective amnesia about what really used to drive readership at the graying alt in its heyday: Rockie Gardiner's tough love-guide Rockie Horoscope, wistful, dark-side Carol Lay's wistful, dark-sided Story Minute, and a surfeit of salacious sexytime personal ads, now of course appearing at craigslist. In the oldtime context, Wilson's slip into the flip flashed for a moment a long-missing, fearless irreverence that the Weekly has been sadly lacking in the entire Heikes/Stewart hegemony. Wilson's not writing what Katha Pollitt would write, sure, but we already have one Katha Pollitt and don't really need a second, and meanwhile we could use some of the carefully irreverent heat these other key components of the formerly edgy Weekly of old brought to our formerly edgy lives of old.

And that's what I thought Wilson ultimately brought to the piece: not tone-deaf insensitivity, but carefully-constructed, contextualized irreverence that nonetheless never fully lost its grip on the gravity of the event. Wilson wasn't reporting from the scene, after all; she was aggregating and expounding on both a victimization and a reporter's own history. She indulged not only the career but the sultry side of the reporter's path, and located ironies in the telling of her story. These things may be uncomfortable to read about, but they are what many wonder about when wondering about Logan; they deserve to be told if only that some might finally learn from them that even these things have nothing at all to do with the crime. While crime and career must remain distinct, those who would only report the victimization, and not tell the tale of the career at all, are not telling a full story either; maybe they are tone-deaf in another way, and I think most of all that Wilson was speaking to this.

Wilson's only real mistake here, I believe, was bowing to the mob pressure and updating her post at all, to acknowledge the contentions of the detractors; her original thoughts, if she was comfortable with them, required no amendment. Wilson is generally lively as a blogger--far more so than the other Weekly bloggers--and I doubt we'll see her consigned to a Patch outlet anytime soon. And anyway, What Would Wonkette Do in this situation? Oh--never mind.

EARLIER: Century Boulevard, Sourcing Trujillo, Sourcing Stewart, I know. 96th St., Drex & Sex, &c., 96th Street, 96th Street, 92nd Street.