Whether irresponsible, ignorant or just poorly timed, one mountain town lifestyle magazine’s quest for Friday click bait backfires.
Here’s one you may have missed on the internet yesterday. (Note: Not fake news).
In a very poorly thought-out attempt to possibly lighten the mode in our country or strike a “conversation” about how women are constantly sexualized, threatened and treated as trophies by their male employers, friends, and elected political leaders, Outside Bozeman magazine dug up a four-year-old ski-industry satire piece – “Bagging Bunnies – Stalking Bozeman’s elusive prey” and reposted it to their Facebook page. (For the record – bad idea.)
The article was written by standup outdoor and ski industry writer/editor Drew Pogge and originally published in the humor section of the magazine in the winter of 2012/’13.
Racking up 35 comments in the last 24 hours, the online version was quickly taken down by the editorial team as they obviously also hastily deleted the original Facebook post and penned a response that was far from acceptable – evidenced by the immediate 73 comments.
“…Alas, given the current political climate, the farcical nature of the piece as lost on many readers. Please know that we are thinking about this and once the entire crew has been assembled for discussion, we’ll post a response.”
Alas! Seriously, that’s what they went with — at least until someone in the editorial room stopped screaming and they deleted that post and crafted this PR Crisis 101 post.
“We at Outside Bozeman sincerely regret our recent Facebook post, linking readers to an archival article from an old issue. We realize the piece is in poor taste and was reposted in even poorer judgment. We in no way condone the behavior described therein, and we work hard every day to build a stronger, smarter, more inclusive and egalitarian Bozeman community. We will strive to be more inclusive of female recreationists and their stories – an essential part of Bozeman’s outdoor community who push all of us to be better athletes, advocates, and community members. We further regret any disrespect to women, their accomplishments, and their contributions to Bozeman and beyond. Please continue to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. — From the men and women of O/B”
Here’s the thing Outside Bozeman. You’re wrong. You’re supposed to be BETTER. (Yes, capital letters are called for in this case).
Especially after we all just suffered through 18 months of the most toxic election our country has ever seen and witnessed the President elect of the United States openly endorse sexual assault as “locker room talk” while he repeatedly attacked female journalists and spewed predatory hate speech across his Twitter account.
Even more so, with the barrage of fake news overloading social media its small-town trusted outlets like you Outside Bozeman that have the loyal readers and social media followers to push through the corporate algorithms attempting to sway our opinions and force-feed us Brawndo.
If you are going to attempt to drive moral conversations, you have to be BETTER!
It shouldn’t even have to be said that as a media outlet or a journalist you have to think about each post, even amidst the daily hustle of publishing a rural magazine on a shoestring budget with no staff.
Just ask Justine Sacco.
Justin Broglio is former President of the Sierra Avalanche Center. He is a father (of two!), a husband, a backcountry skier and communications officer for the DRI in Reno. He is currently trying to figure out how to get a 1-year-old to stand up and french fry.