Saturday, May 30, 2009

Note to Media: Please, Please, Please Don't Link AHDs to the UChicago Bozos

So some kid at the University of Chicago thought it would be funny to launch a new student organization dedicated to the advancement of men. It's the sort of nutty thing that happens on college campuses all the time, during that wonderful hair-on-fire time of life where intellectual capacity tends to far exceeds your empathy, experience and understanding of the social fabric. As a student newspaper editor, I published way too many similar pieces from similarly smart people with nary a clue as to how the world actually works.

So my issue isn't with the naive kid at Chicago, who -- left to his own devices -- would probably end up with small group of guys who drink beer a couple of times a month and bitch and complain. Eventually, they'd wake up to reality, and that would be that. No, my issue is with the media frenzy around him. That this would be treated as an issue worthy of newsprint or the broadcast spectrum actually makes me root for the downfall of the mainstream media.

I'd be more than happy to ignore this, except that GMA Weekend -- in a feat of extraordinary journalistic gymnastics -- ended up tieing this student group to the at-home dad trend, then giving the stage to chief spokesperson for the up-is-down, black-is-white idea that men's voices are somehow being silenced in America, Warren Farrell.

Let me be clear: the bozo in Chicago ought not be speaking to the idea of at-home fatherhood. Warren Farrell ought not speaking for at-home fatherhood.

So reporters and producers: do you want to talk about how fatherhood is changing, and place that in the context of larger societal shifts? Drop me a note, and I'll get Jeremy Adam Smith in the studio with you in under 90 minutes.

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