The Pitt News bills itself as “one of Amercia’s great student newspapers”. If only it were. Then again, maybe it is. *shudder*
In the 11 years I’ve been in Pittsburgh, I’ve watched the quality of writing and journalistic integrity of the Pitt News wax and wane with the arrival and graduation of classes. When it’s good, it’s no worse than any other small paper. When it’s bad, it’s awful. Sadly, it’s been bad more often than it’s been good. There have been years when the only feature I looked forward to reading was the comics page. Some years even that sucked. I’ve read articles that would make the journalism department go apoplectic – if Pitt had a journalism dept.
In the last couple years, though, I think the paper inproved a great. Perhaps there was an editor that was more interested in relatively unbiased news than sensationalism and sex columns. Those halcyon days may be over, though. Observe exhibits A and B:
Joseph Mance remembers a time when packets of birth control pills cost $8 each. Today he is trying to spread the word to his student clientele that prices have hiked up once again, this time to the $40 range. “I hate telling these kids, ‘We’re raising your pill price,'” he said with a troubled look. “It’s like pulling a gun on them.”
Telling kids their birth control pills will cost more is “like pulling a gun on them”? First of all, if they’re kids, they’re too immature to be having sex. Secondly, what ever happened to advising people to keep their hormones in check? If expensive birth control is either going to majorly disrupt students’ lives or result in a lot of unintended pregancies, Pitt has much biggers problems than government economic policies. Granted, the Pitt News can’t be faulted for Mance making an ass of himself by allowing himself to be quoted uttering that nonsense, but the article is entirely one-sided. The entire front-page piece is written from the point of view that the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which is responsible for the price hike, is a bad law, at least as it pertains to offering cheap birth control for the masses. Reporting on the price hike is just fine and a public service announcement, but the second half of the article pertains to the politics of birth control discounts, which should have been presented in a more balanced fashion.
…[S]cientists have attempted to change the sexual orientation of sheep to help farmers, who have accused gay sheep of causing them financial loss. The scientists gave the sheep injections, adjusting the hormone levels in their brains and, amazingly, some previously gay rams became attracted to female sheep. Naturally, the gay and lesbian community was not happy. Their fear is that this success could be a gateway to experiments involving human sexuality and may one day be used to “breed out” homosexuals entirely. Personally, I think this experiment is debauchery. The scientists responsible should be tarred and feathered – or maybe tarred and wooled. Altering sexuality is a very slippery slope. But it seems as though these scientists have forgotten an important fact: If those sheep would just accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they could easily overcome their homosexuality.
At least this tripe was printed as opinion rather than news. Still, any newspaper that would print this should be embarassed and ashamed. It’s a sophomoric attempt at satire of Christian bioethics that reads like a secular Jack Chick‘s poor imitation of a “A Modest Proposal“. The kind of Christian presented in this article is straw man. Sure, there are Christians like the charicature the author presents; after all, stereotypes don’t appear out of thin air. Still, the author needs to realize that we’re not all fans of the 700 Club, any more than all gays are fans of Will and Grace.
You don’t have to be Fred Phelps to think active homosexuality is wrong. You also don’t have to hate or fear science if you’re a Christian. Heck, you can even believe that homosexuality has a biological component and still think it’s wrong to perform homosexual acts.
Christianity aside, arguing that a disorder of lower animals is natural and therefore acceptable in humans is ridiculous. Lots of lower animals practice cannibalism and incest. Will it soon be PC to defend those behaviors?
In summary, this article isn’t just bad satire, it’s ironically full of the kind of disgusting malice and prejudice that seems to have offended the author, and the ignorance and denial he specifically mentions.
Be sure to let the editor of the Pitt News know how you feel about these articles. Regarding the latter, you might want to let ACLJ and the Catholic League know, too.