Idly surfing around the blogosphere this afternoon, Crabby Old Lady came across a blog named The Two Hour Lunch of which “Pops” is the proprietor. He points with a good bit of righteous indignation to a story in The Seattle Times seeking applicants who want to blog in the newspaper about how the election campaign is going among folks in their community.
“Know your community? Like to talk politics with your friends, colleagues and neighbors? Want an opportunity to blog about your observations?” asks the paper.
Even Crabby, who has been known to disdain such cutesy-poo efforts at involving journalistic “civilians,” might go along given the crucial nature of the 2004 election and the generally abysmal job the mainstream media has done so far in raising the level of political discourse. Perhaps the civilians could do a better job at writing about the real concerns of the public, thought Crabby - that is, until she read the next bits in the story, and the reason for Pops’ indignation:
“We’re looking for contributors 35 and younger who are following the ’04 campaigns…There’s no pay involved; only a chance to make the voice of the community heard.”
If this were a paying gig, that advertisement would be illegal under the federal ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act).
This is the kind of kneejerk, gratuitous ageism American culture engages in every day, and it sends Crabby Old Lady right around the bend.
What does The Seattle Times think – that people past age 35 don’t know their communities? Don’t talk politics? Maybe they think no one over 35 has any friends, colleagues or neighbors?
And how old – or, rather, how young, do you have to be to run such a nasty, ageist news operation?
Here’s the executive editor’s email address in case you want to complain: firstname.lastname@example.org. Crabby sent him a copy of this blog entry.