It’s been a while, I know. As contingent faculty (adjunct) who makes possibly less than your average American Walmart worker, I juggle a few jobs to make ends meet. One of my jobs is bartending at a popular spot in downtown Manhattan that is right off the PATH train from Jersey. Last night–Super Bowl Eve–was maybe one worst nights ever. Picture it: A million drunk frat boys who could barely sign their checks. A Colonel Sanders lookalike whistling at me in a way I imagine one whistles at a horse in a stable (had I ever whistled at a horse in a stable). Entitled, inconsiderate [expletives] demanding drinks and cutting in front of people of color. And finally, a red-faced giant wearing a baby blue golfing shirt who, drunk and impatient, shouted that I was a rude b*tch, after which fact not a single person at the bar had my back.
After last night, I can tell you my fondness for football as a favorite American pastime, with all its homoeroticism, sexual assault, terrible labor practices (including handbooks implying sexual assault is a cheerleader’s own fault), parallels to slavery and its general ripeness for good old fashioned or new American racism (i.e. that “thug” a.k.a. my hero Richard Sherman), is not running too deep.
Just when I thought I couldn’t hate Super Bowl-in-the-New York-Metro-Area any more, I get a link to a NY Daily News story with the headline: “‘One-stop shopping’ drug and prostitution ring, Asian Wave Escorts, busted ahead of Super Bowl.” It’s framing is one of the most racist and misogynistic I’ve seen in a long time. I wish there was a quick and easy way to break it down to Sports Reporter Corky Siemaszko, but there isn’t. The sex industry as it relates to, and the White/Western world’s general obsession with, Asian female bodies has a long and disgusting history that you can read about here and here. Orientalism, racism, interchangeability, exploitation, an anti-sex worker police state that doesn’t do jack sh*t to combat trafficking–all this is completely erased by Siemaszko’s horrible reporting. Not to mention the copyeditor was clearly out of the office (e.g. What is “turning trucks”?).
“But wait!” you might say. Siemaszko does see the injustice of it all as clearly demonstrated in this gem of a sentence: “In some cases, authorities said, the greedy ring took advantage of wasted customers by charging them upward of $10,000 for a single booking.”
Oh, these poor johns. These poor johns who were taken advantage of by “flesh-peddlers”, who are presumably peddling the flesh of the “allege prostitutes.” If I’m not mistaken, those who pay for transactions with sex workers are also held under the rule of the law, but clearly we see who Siemaszko sympathizes with.
Siemaszko also reports: “Cocaine was referred to as ‘jewelry’ or ‘Soojaebi,’ which is a Korean noodle and vegetables soup,” said Schneiderman. What? I repeat, @#%^&*$?! Hashtag Relevance?!
Also, can dude be less obvious? He “reports”: “some of the women in police custody are claiming they were forced into prostitution and are cooperating”, immediately followed by: “The prostitutes identified in court papers were no spring chickens.” Corky, clearly you need a reality check: you are NOT judge, jury, and executioner, and someone needs to revoke your press pass for brainwashing your readers. Also, please work out your weird ageism (“girls” in quotation marks and ages listed repeated) and corny, washed out moralism (“den of sin”, “sexy come-ons”, etc.) elsewhere.
Siemaszko usually reports on such classy and complex topics like “Painter Trina Merry transforms bodies of athletes into human motorcycles that go from zero to sexy in a flash” and regularly uses terms like “hot chicks” in his news articles, so maybe decent reporting is just below him.