Fish, Barrel, Steve Blow, Ctd.

Earlier, I questioned Steve Blow’s word usage in a blog post about molestation. At first, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, that maybe he hadn’t really thought out what he was going to say, and just dashed off a blog post.

But then more and more commenters began telling him how wrong he was. How using words like “mainstream” and “refreshing” to talk about female molestation made it sound like there was a group of people it would be OK to molest.

So after enough people, including Andrea Grimes over at the Observer and Geoff Johnston also took him to task for it, he finally pipes up with this:

“My goodness, nothing but literalists in the house today?

Word o’ the day: Tongue-in-cheek — “humorously ironic, mocking or insincere.”

A few more people go after him in the comments, and then he finally “apologizes.” I use quotes, because let’s read it:

“If you have to explain humor, it has failed. My attempt here at some sardonic humor has obviously failed with a number of readers. I apologize. No offense was intended — except toward pervy priests of any persuasion.”

In other words, “I’m sorry, readers, that you’re too stupid to get my humor. A number of you gauche illiterates didn’t get it, but clearly someone out there does, or I’d say it failed with everyone. Epically.”

The correct apology would go something like that, “I’m sorry, you guys. I didn’t think when I typed, and I clearly tried to make a very serious and sad situation humorous, at the expense of the victims. ”

That, dear Mr. Blow, is how an apology works. We’ll try humor later.

UPDATE: If the post was just a joke, why did the Dallas Morning News delete it? No worries, we have the screen shot here.

Comments

  • April

    Amen.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    I hear you and yes you are correct. That said:
    Honestly, for all Steve Blow’s whatever catalog of shortcomings, he has clearly not a mean or subversive or sexist or racist bone in his aging body of work. Let’s put in perspective the quip he meant to say in the sardonic thud room where it belongs. Blow is an easy target here but I am asking us to not make this a gang bang. He’s undoubtedly a decent guy who made a careless insensitive attempt at ironic humor & it bombed for what should have been obvious reasons to anyone, certainly in these days of ‘gotcha’ PC quick sand. At this point there are plenty of reasons to blow this guy off but let’s not treat him like he intended to idealize any form of molestation. He’s a proud granddad & that’s about the last thing he would ever intend.

  • amanda

    Andrea had it pegged. Rape jokes = not funny. Ever.

    Why the DMN keeps Blow is a mystery to me…

  • Bethany Anderson

    I’m sure what he didn’t intend to come off the way he did, Rawlins, but your last sentence is the entire reason why he should come up with a better apology than that.

  • I’m thinking that the Idiots guide to Satire speaking tour is not to far off in your journalistic future. Can start in Dallas on appropriateness and how not all topics should be used as satire (i.e. child molestation, abortion, pretty much any hot-button topic that makes you cringe when it comes up in a social situation). and then take it around the country to places like San Fran where they truly dont understand how to use it.

    Was the goal of the blog really to get into a molestation joke series with the intended audience of “highly-intelligent” readers?

    Idiot.

  • wordy:Liz Landry

    Kudos to you (*and others) for taking him to task TWICE. Because that is the lamest excuse for an apology I’ve seen in a while.

  • S

    I’m speechless. As a female survivor, I’m outraged. And this non-apology? He must be taking cues from the Vatican.
    Forwarding this to the local SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) group.

  • amanda

    @ Rawlins…I disagree. Blow’s attempt at a joke held all of the smug arrogance of Protestant denominations who have used the scandals in Catholic churches to market and recruit for the last 20 years. It was hurtful. It doesn’t matter to me if Blow pulled a litter of blind puppies from a burning car, to me that revealed a great deal about his character. The non-apology pretty much cemented it.

    The DMN could use some staff training on how to de-escalate tensions over stories and basic tips on how to appear contrite.

    It reminded me of the Clayton Williams comment…

  • wordy:Liz Landry

    @ Rawlins I usually find you so thoughtful and appreciate your perspective on things. However, I have to say, your comment only compounds the issue we are talking about. This isn’t “‘gotcha’ PC quick sand” like you seem to imply, this is a clear cut case of an insensitive remark that only promotes the view that girls are not real victims. As a survivor; yeah, I’m pulling the card out; I find that he indeed did idealize a form of sexual assault. “Oh, but it was a joke,” he claims. And, he insults me while apologizing to me, like I’m not smart enough to get the joke. It isn’t funny. And forgive me if I don’t really then need you explaining to me the reasons why he didn’t mean it and then use the phrase “gang bang” directed at those of us that call him on it.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Amanda, although I was simply being a fair-minded defender of a borish guy’s lousy crack, you make a very interesting point regarding Blow’s revealing church vs.church bigotry which would go over my head since I avoid churches like I do $75 entree restaurants. My ‘church’ is the woods.

    That said, I have now actually read Blow’s original thread post and my larger question to him is what the married priest vs. single has to do with preventing pedophile molestation of either gender? So that ring on the finger means you are a faithful monogamous sexually balanced heterosexual defender of all things saintly? What scout troop is that guy camping in that he is so simplistic?

  • Is DMN really the place for a tongue-in-cheek molestiation commentary (granted there is no right place). But lets say it was a less controversial topic, but still controversial – shouldnt it be on a trashier rag than DMN? (insert joke here)

  • amanda

    Perhaps Rawlins was being ironic?

  • Bethany Anderson

    Rawlins, that’s a whole other kettle of fish. But yes, I wondered too, if Mr. Blow was naive enough to think married men don’t molest.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Liz Landry, I appreciate what you shared here but I must say that the last time I willingly read Steve Blow was when Ford was in the White House. And having been raised by a flaming feminist activist mother and myself having been the ultimate proponent of women’s issues, mentoring women in the workplace when I was an executive, including pushing commission parity, even birth control on the health care, on and on…. I am not who you should be mad at. I am more of an ‘in-the-trenches’ pro-woman male than you might ever likely know regarding women advocacy. And a ton of women will concur on that. So I take no offense.

    Back on topic, Blow’s boring toss out ultimately took on a life of its own as a red meat pounce. In that sense and ONLY that sense did it become a sucking bog of PC because no other response to his lousy thread was acceptable and I accept that. But frankly the idea that I could be cast in a Steve Blow apologist camp is more ironic than any humor Steve Blow could dare attempt. I think he is lame when he’s writing anything so I found it hard to read between any of his lines.
    Today it seems every where I read, people are pouncing on people who said this or that and my natural response is usually to not ascribe hidden or personal meaning to what someone ‘meant’. I write in my life, and I many times have people tell me what I ‘meant’. Well, I KNOW what I meant since I wrote it. How could they be telling me what I ‘meant’ by what I wrote. That is where I was coming from.

    Meanwhile FYI, ‘gang bang’ is hardly a term applied strictly to male-on-female rape as anyone who ever stayed in jail or prison will attest. In fact when I lived in a commune 40 years ago, it meant an orgy.

  • amanda

    @ Rawlins, BINGO. The I’m married, I wouldn’t dream of an improper relationship excuse was recently tested at Kanakuk Kamps where a former director was just sentenced to 171 total years. Married, his wife worked with him in the ministry, and the director is believed to have HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of victims. His marriage was his cover story…

    One Kanakuk mother said, “I didn’t think this could happen to us…WE AREN’T CATHOLIC.”

    Blow’s commentary to me was the smug “safety” position. Don’t delude yourself, Blow…the Protestant church has as many sexual molestation victims as the Catholic church. But, the media doesn’t report these stories. They fly in the face of 20+ years reporting that celibacy “makes” a priest molest.

    I don’t care how “nice” Blow seems. I’m sick of his bullshit.

  • GuiltyBystander

    A tad ironic that Mr. Middle of the Road, Don’t Stir The Pot Columnist wrote blue on the DMN blog. To satisfy the less prurient readers on The Web, Blow (and I think some other DMNers) are trying to “get with the program.” Ain’t workin’, guys and gals.
    Mr. Blow: As your career winds down, push the envelope and put a little more effort into trying to be a Big City Metro Columnist who writes about Important Stuff. Go buy some books by Mike Royko and plagarize like hell.
    Oh … and stay off the blog.

  • wordy:Liz Landry

    Actually, I am familiar with your work, having heard your commentary on KERA on the regular. I guess that was why it was even more disturbing how your comment seemed to me. Yes, people are a little PC Happy and willing to jump down someone’s throat for any small thing. And, in those instances, I think standing up and saying grow up is perfectly fair. I, however, did not perceive this as one of those times. I am not trying to tell you what you meant, or even what Steve meant. However, I do know, as an educated writer myself, the impact that words have and the responsibility we all share when we committ them to “paper.” Because words affect people, words can hurt and often we use them to influence others way of thinking. SO, I found Blows comments offensive and reckless. Yours I simply found confusing (because of all the things you mention about yourself.)And, I was not commenting on the word choice of gang-bang as male-female assault only. I was pointing out that to some of us who took offense to the Blow article, for you to use that term– that presently is a sexual assault word (in prison or on the streets)– to describe us expressing our displeasure at Steve Blow, was a poor choice of words. You say you aren’t in the apologist camp, but you explain that he is a decent guy, which puts you in some camp. I will fully admit that my view is skewered when speaking about assault against children, of any sex. I was simply trying to explain to you how your comment came across to me.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Amanda, a PS FYI to your point(s) in the 4:48 post. I was raised Episcopal while Mother became Catholic @40 after having been in Catholic schools her entire pre-college life. When I was 11, I was caught shop-lifing a stupic pill box I could not afford to buy for my mother or aunt. It was Christmas at a department store downtown. The huge woman who caught me scared me to death like the huge woman whose knee-to-floor is all you see in those old Tom & Jerry cartoons. Anyway, the manager of the dept. store called my priest to come get me. That was Dallas in the 50s. In any case, the store manager made a sexual pass at me in his office… obviously a married man…and when the (married) priest showed up, on the way home in his car he groped me. So there’s better food for thought than that slop Steve Blow served up………

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Liz, again, I appreciate what your comments. The key words being at the end of your post ‘how you comment came across to me’. Noted. One cannot couch what they say with the idea that everyone will respond similarly, in any forum. But a blog does not strike me as a finished product forum. To me, chat in written form. In any case, I have enjoyed your points and others’.

    Perhaps precisely because I’ve always been so sensitive to women’s issues… and violence of any kind including sexual form…and as a guy who was also molested a more than once as a pre-teen, there’s the other rub…., I just did not choose to take the bait. By now most of my life’s wounds have become insignificant scars. It’s a good place to be.

    You wanta find the real enemy? I’ve been around a guy only recently who actually SAID over a beer that women ‘deserve to be hit under some circumstances”. I cannot type what I said to him. There are men I have met who told me & believe that ‘it isn’t rape if it’s your wife’. On and on and on.
    We’re in the same boat. I just won’t make Steve Blow more important than he isn’t.
    Have a great night, Rawlins

  • amanda

    @ Rawlins, thanks for the expanded view from your dashboard. Always helpful and insightful…

  • amanda

    The Blow blog piece is GONE. “PAGE NOT FOUND”

    Chickenshit.

  • Joe Abboud

    Deputy managing editor Mark Edgar made the decision to pull it.

  • Doug

    “If the post was just a joke, why did the Dallas Morning News delete it?”

    Quit being disingenuous, they pulled it because people like you, who have clearly let your hatred of Steve Blow get the better of you, have been throwing a hissy fit about it all day. I haven’t bothered with the DMN for years and couldn’t care less about it or Steve Blow, but his post was similar to comments i’ve read many times before on the internet and it’s obviously a shot at the Catholic church, not rape victims or gays. Take your internet lynch mob and go home.

  • Philosophically Minded

    Granted, the priest’s kissing of the young girls was reprehensible in the extreme — but he was successful in luring grown women into bed, so you gotta give him that.

  • cliff

    as usual i consider all of these up in arms people idiots. i’ve read Steve for years and while i don’t always agree with what he says i find a lot of it like this harmless. while i am not a columnist and therefore don’t risk getting crucified for expressing anything remotely controversial i probably would not have expressed it in print because in 2010 the average human does not have the capacity to discern between sardonic humor and mean spiritedness. lost in the uproar is what Steve is saying which is spot on. as a religious bystander i too would find it comical about all of the priests getting caught with their pants down if it were not so sad and disgusting. men were not put on this earth to be celibate and continuing to try to make them that will continue to create stories such as this. in the meantime you people looking to get up in arms over every little thing need to get a life.

  • niceguytx

    I’m not going to debate this particular issue, but Steve Blow is an idiot and a poor writer. His column is a waste of space. (And I am a faithful every-morning DMN reader.) If this is the thing that gets rid of him, bravo.

  • jrp

    to paraphase the great Walter Sobchak, this is a league game and Steve Blow is over the line…

    i’ve said it before and i’ll say again: put the baby boomers out to pasture and get Amanda Cobra, Destiny and Trey in there pumping out multiple columns a week

    we’ll all be living better here after that

  • Rich

    Ms. Anderson presumes to know what Mr. Blow meant in his apology as opposed to what he said. Is it clairvoyance or something else?

    I never thought Mr. Blow made it sound like there was a group of people it would be OK to molest.

    Mr. Blow’s blog and the subsequent reaction have served a valuable public service. It reminded me that girls and women have been hurt by Priests which never gets mentioned by the MSM. All the news ever reports is about boys.

    Of course many of you will disagree with me and possibly vilify me as well. But I always liked John Bloom’s style and that won’t earn me any PC points in these blogosphere parts either.

  • @Doug: This wasn’t someone’s personal blog or even an opinion piece. This was a columnist who gets paid to write for the DMN bringing attention to a news story. He made incredibly inappropriate and insensitive statements. And he will collect a paycheck for doing so.

    It wasn’t an obvious “shot at the Catholic church”; otherwise it would have been undeniably noticeable, which is the technical definition of “obvious”.

    Steve Blow does not understand the mechanics of humor and he should not refer to ham-fisted gags about sexual abuse as such. Steve Blow does not know how to execute a proper apology. His apology was shallow and did not express regret, which is the technical definition of an “apology”.

    In this particular instance, a “hissy fit” was warranted and deserved. It’s one thing to be out of touch and folksy. It’s something altogether different to be casually thoughtless when speaking of victims of sexual abuse.

    To paraphrase Evelyn Beatrice Hall (who was paraphrasing Voltaire), I do not agree with what Steve Blow has to say, but I’ll defend to the death his right to say it. Then I’ll rightfully rip him a new poop chute for saying it.

  • Bethany Anderson

    Doug: I’d say that Blow did this. I didn’t write about refreshing molestation. I didn’t write a perky post about how desiring to have sex with young girls is a mainstream sexual hangup.

    And you know, the fallout wouldn’t have been so bad if Blow had apologized, not for our stupidity at not getting his humor, but for the hurt his words could cause.

    And if you don’t think it caused hurt, CBS 11 interviewed the victim. She’s not happy.

    http://cbs11tv.com/local/DMN.steve.blow.2.1779970.html

  • amanda

    @ Doug, Rich, Cliff and the rest of the Golly Gee Fan Club:

    Many of the people who participate on this blog are writers, journalists, columnists, and radio/tv/film types. Wheras YOU don’t have a problem with with Steve Blow’s comments on the DMN blog, we do. We do this for a living. Blow’s comments were way out of line, and we are holding him accountable for a professional lapse.

    Don’t forget, “free speech” works two ways. You have a right to express your opinion, as does Blow. We have a right to respond.

    Blow’s commentary was unbecoming a columnist at a top-10 market newspaper. Period. His apology was contrived, not contrite.

  • I’ve read Steve’s piece and apology a couple of times.

    I’m left with the impression there’s a lot more bad spirit in the critics words than there is in Steve’s.

    We all know someone who has had a rotten life because they were sexually abused as a child. Child sexual abuse is the bad thing that never seems to heal.

    I personally see all the righteous indignation of the offended in this instance as bad for the cause as Steve’s flippance with words were.

    Keep in mind that the victim of child sexual abuse never loses a sense of responsibility for what happened. We as a society don’t allow that to happen. We ignore the important fact that it’s about predation. The predator picks out and on the victim because they’re the easiest prey available. Their weakness is their fault so therefore they share the blame.

    Some day hopefully we as a society will understand child sexual abuse better. We will understand the relationship between the predator and prey and know how to keep them separated.

    Until then we need to avoid the personal attacks like we’ve seen in the blogosphere yesterday and today. It stifles conversation about the real problem and how to remedy it.

  • amanda

    @ Harvey…Do I understand you to mean that minors who are violated by adults, in this example a member of clergy are responsible for the molestation? What 50%?

    If so, you are WRONG, and I’m disappointed.

  • wordy:Liz Landry

    @Harvey I’m not quite sure why you felt the need to join a conversation about which you obviously have a distorted view. How is a victim’s weakness their fault? Are you kidding me? I am not sure where you get this dangerous and disgusting view. But, I can assure you at 4 years old when I was molested, I was a child and yes, therefore I was weak as ALL CHILDREN are. I do not hold any responsibility for what an adult chose to do to me, nor do I appreciate your trying to tell me I do. Your out-of-touch view is exactly the same problem we had with Blow’s comments. Ironically, you guys are similar in age. THank God that we have made huge leaps combating the issue of child abuse and no longer subscribe to this disgusting view that your age group seems to hold. And, we were righteously indignant at Blow’s comments and expressed that. As far as I can tell, that is a conversation, no stifling here.

  • Rich

    @Amanda
    Golly Gee Fan Club? So the “professionals” result to name calling immediately to make their point?

  • As far as I know…..Steve Blove has never molested any children. Yet the Catholic church is full of pervs. So are many religious organizations. Where is the demand for the Pope to step down? Or a demand for more transparency. Right here in Dallas? Some of the most outspoken voices on this board are the same ones who teach acceptance of various forms of humor.

    You can hang Blow from the highest cross but you will still be paying to support pedophiles every time you give money to the Catholic church.

  • amanda

    @ Rich…what would you liked to be called? I’m happy to oblige.

    The description fits, and that’s what you don’t like.

    How does Pervy Priest Post Lovers sound to you?

  • “The predator picks out and on the victim because they’re the easiest prey available. Their weakness is their fault so therefore they share the blame.”

    Good point, Harvey. Those kids, they know what they’re doing. All innocent, psychologically malleable, and so easy to physically restrain. They’re practically asking for it!

    Ass.

  • Lynn

    When a roving pack of idle feral Chihuahuas gets the blood scent, the Steve Blows of the world are doggone right to mind their ankles.

  • a…

    over the freaking top with the name calling.

  • amanda

    Thanks, JEJ. You’re a the very foundation of media etiquette.

    Now that is some sarcasm.

  • Rich

    @Amanda
    I don’t want you to call me anything. Are you happy to oblige that?

  • it wouldn’t be so bad a…if you weren’t so hypocritical about it.
    lecture after lecture from you about being able to find a sense of humor from the writing so such dmn folk…rod dreher etc or joking comments you have made about sexuality.
    if your goal is to get blow fired….you are the epic fail. your rationale….very weak.

    harvey lacey is not WRONG. he just has a different view point.

    just because someone doesn’t have the same level of anger as you do on a subject does not make them a pervy priest post lover.

    i don’t care to be part of any sarcastic media etiquette. you do enough of that for all of us honey.

  • Bethany Anderson

    I’m gonna have to ask everyone to retreat to neutral corners and then come back (if they can) and discuss this as adults with differing opinions.

    Nobody’s an idiot here, or none of you would be able to contribute to this daily conversation we have here as well as you do.

    So let’s all take a deep breath. Seriously. Steve Blow will keep his job. But he’ll think a little harder about the subjects he cracks wise about – as will we all.

    Now, simmah down.

  • Amos

    Would that we could all get some input here from Al Gore, the global warming maven!

  • Brad

    Bethany 11:43, meet Amos 12:43.

    I think the wheels are officially off once we stop discussing the topic, stop the name calling, and we start in with tired, unfunny political jabs. If the Al Gore quip was supposed to be “sardonic humor” it was so very lost on me.

  • Bethany Anderson

    Amos, I have to agree with Brad. I don’t see where this fits with the subject matter. Also, in a previous thread about this subject, I asked that people refrain from drawing commenters offsides with politics, as this really has nothing to do with it.

  • Amos

    To Brad and Beth,

    My comment is right on target. Put on your helmets and stop licking the windows. In addition to global warming, Al is also an expert on adductor muscles. His reluctant masseuse in Portland can vouch for that.

  • Bethany Anderson

    Amos:
    I’m afraid you’re going to have to spell it out. What does Al Gore’s adductor muscles have to do with Steve Blow’s blog post?

    If you can’t explain succinctly, you may have to abandon this frame of thought. As I said before, if there’s no correlation to the subject matter, you may have to try to find another post to comment on.

  • Bill Marvel

    Believe it or not, Amos, everything in the world isn’t reducible to politics. To keep injecting the subject marks you as one of those pestilential and pitiful individuals who kind of hang around outside a conversation jumping in to insert their favorite subject, whether it’s on or off the point, whenever they see an opportunity. You’re certainly not the only one. But right now you’re the loudest.

  • wordy:Liz Landry

    @Jack E. Jett Harvey Lacey is not wrong? How is blaming the victim not wrong? I feel like I have entered the Twilight Zone and pretty soon people are going to be able to start explaining to me how the Holocaust never happened and I’ll have to listen and say, “Now, that’s a good point.” Do I expect everyone to have the same level of anger as me? No, I don’t. But, can I be shocked when someone’s ethically and moral bar is set so low that I am once again reminded why crap like this is allowed to happen in the first place? Yes, I will.

  • amanda

    Yes. Liz, it’s exactly like the Twilight Zone when “everyone has a valid point.” Bullshit. Right and wrong apply, especially in this situation. The mere suggestion that a minor contributes in any way to victimization is a dangerous slipper slope. Now, excuse me, as I need to slip into a short skirt and tank top to walk around in a bad part of town…

  • Harvey Lacy is one of the coolest guys on the planet. He was not blaming the victim.

    However..ask yourself why your anger is not directed at the Catholic Church, the Vatican, the Pope for molesting children in the first place. Girl or boys.

    No one should blame the victim. Nor should they blame someone who happens to write about it.

    The Catholic Church has not only gotten away with years and years of child molestation, they have got their congregation to pay for it. Do you blame people who still give to a church that hides behind the cross while participating in child abuse?

    To compare a comment made by Steve Blow to the Holocaust doesn’t really require a response.

    Anyway, Bethany has asked us to simmah.

    I have gone beyond simmah…I am in full chill mode.

  • amanda

    My comments are not directed at the Catholic Church because the thread isn’t about the Catholic Church. When Frontburner puts up a post about the Catholic Church, I may have a comment.

    And, Harvey’s comments DO seem to imply a level of responsibility in molestations are born by victims. Perhaps he will clarify or explain his opinion later.

    And, no, I don’t “blame” people who give to their church as they are commanded to do. It’s in the Bible, and is called a tithe.