Monday, April 5, 2010

Another College Paper Generates Firestorm

College is where many people learn limits and that seems to be especially true, when it comes to student newspapers.

In the short life of this blog, I've pointed toward a questionable column from a self-described provocateur at American University which has received some national press, a week-long learning opportunity from a text ad purchased by a Holocaust denier and an instance when the humor magazine at Georgetown crossed over a line.

Now, it's the University of Colorado at Denver's turn.

Most of the news articles for their April 1st "joke" edition was prefaced with the line, "Please read this fake article only if you can take a joke", which allows for an easy search and the overwhelming majority of articles are rather innocuous.

There's one about an intervention to combat the student Vice-President's Furby addiction; An article announcing a medical marijuana dispensary in the cafeteria; A how-to for opening a portal to hell and a culinary review of a local dumpster.

Then, there are those which dance close to the line, if not straddle it, inappropriately. A writer compares a romantic breakup to the Chilean earthquake. An article announcing that CU-Boulder will be going private because it's where all the "privileged white students want to party" and then there's the piece heralding the benefits of bulimia.

Though,what seems to be stirring up most of the storm is an op-ed written from the point of view of a racist from the reactionary right, entitled "Enjoy obamacare if you like payin for illegal mexicans" and an advice column called "Dear White Guys", in which they say minorities have more children and are looking to steal white kids.

The paper has now released an editorial, where they invoke the First Amendment, lament the fact that more than half of their run was stolen and say that the edition will be available all week.

To their credit, they also encourage people to write letters to the editor and to attend a protest this morning. Which, though they intended it as a joke, if there's a modicum of truth to their own sense of irrelevance, all this publicity and fanning the flames could get them more readers.
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