This week’s issue of Newsweek is all about the best restaurants in the world. To illustrate the concept, editor Tina Brown didn’t go with a delicious picture of food pornography, or even a beleaguered cow who would soon become a steak, but with a photo of a woman who appears to be giving fellatio to two measly pieces of asparagus.
According to the Daily Mail (I know, I know), this cover caused so much controversy.
But is there actually a controversy? Let’s take a look at who really said what. Alexandra Petri of the Washington Post wrote that this cover was confusing because it wasn’t clear what it was trying to accomplish (controversy? art? twisted food porn?), but never really said she was offended. Dylan Byers of Politico wrote simply that it was a dumb picture and should have been of actual food. Katy Waldman at Slate’s XXFactor said that it was a poor attempt at selling magazines.
Even Jezebel couldn’t really bring themselves to give too much of a shit, with writer Doug Barry just pointing out that the image was a stock photo, and had been used many times before.
With all the posts about it (including this one), and the headlines about how controversial this cover is, one might be fooled into thinking that women are upset about the objectification-by-asparagus of another woman, or that somehow, Americans are up in arms about seeing something that suggests oral sex, a practice that millions of us are probably engaging in right at this very moment.
But that’s not really the case. Instead, the case is that we’ve entered into a tired old routine whereby editors like Tina Brown publish crap like this knowing (or at least hoping) that we bloggers will need to meet post counts so we’ll try to muster some feelings about it, then the Daily Mail takes a huge yawn and says that it’s controversial, and it gets called “racy” and “suggestive” by a few other outlets, when in reality, nothing about this was ever controversial at all, and all we’re doing is propagating a notion that any time anyone brings up sex or sexy women, we’re going to get our panties in a wad.
Oh, and also, we all kept our jobs.
Maybe we should just stop responding.
What do you think?