WSJ photo flap is the Official Stupid Non-Controversy of 2010

A spokeswoman for the Wall Street Journal said today its cover art was not intended as innuendo about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation after the paper’s front-page use of an image of Kagan playing softball provoked a mixture of irritation and amusement from gay and lesbian advocates.

wsjkagancover Y’know I always try to read the minutes from the Gay Agenda committee meetings but I must have I missed the one where they announced women playing softball is a code for lesbian. Or maybe it’s just women who play softball well.

Speaking as one of the three people left in the world who still reads the Journal on paper I have to say my reaction to the photo was that it made Ms. Kagan seem really – oh how should I put this … – normal. Just a regular person having fun playing softball. The only thing it made her look like was someone’s kid sister or maybe a co-worker, or maybe both.

Here’s my favorite quote from the Politico story:

"It clearly is an allusion to her being gay. It’s just too easy a punch line," said Cathy Renna, a former spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation who is now a consultant.

The only lesbian punch line I know is this, “A U-Haul.” The joke: “What does a lesbian bring on a second date?” Apparently lesbians move in together quickly. If I were to go by the behavior of my friends who are lesbians I would have to say that this is closer to reporting than to humor.

Ms. Renna continues

"The question from a journalistic perspective is whether it’s a descriptive representation of who she might be as a judge. Have you ever seen a picture of Clarence Thomas bowling?"

No, but I did see some of former Chief Justice Rehnquist appearing as an extra in an opera (true!), does that count?

“The question from a journalistic perspective is whether it’s a descriptive representation of who she might be as a judge.” What would a picture that does this show? Here’s Ms. Kagan at the grocery store weighing a pound of opinion. Here she is in a hard-hat looking constructionist?

Ms. Kagan’s nomination will not be decided by whether or not she is a member of the Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That party. This is really too stupid for anyone to waste their time on. Get back to work getting rid of the Defense of Marriage Act. That actually matters.

Top 10 Marketing Blunders of 2008

Yeah, there’s a lot more than 10 here. What can I say? It was a very good year for very bad things.

(PS: If you liked this would you mind going here and voting for it on Digg?)

GRAND PRIZE FOR SUSTAINED ORGANIZATIONAL EFFORT

(tie)

The John McCain Presidential Campaign

  • “Our economy, I think, is still — the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”
  • Has no idea how many houses he (or his wife) owns.
  • Picks Sara Palin, the Broad to Nowhere who couldn’t find Russia or Africa on a map.
  • Campaign adviser and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina says Palin couldn’t run a major corporation.
  • Campaign adviser and former senator Phil Gramm says Americans are whiners about economic problems.
  • “Shutting down” his campaign to fix the bailout.
  • “Lipstick on a pig”
  • Egregious attack on Dungeons & Dragons that clearly cost him the election. (OK, maybe not so much the last one).

GM

Runners Up

  1. Ford features “Space Oddity” — a song about astronaut suicide — in new car campaign.
  2. Framingham State College  uses the word blah 137 times in a 312-word fundraising letter.
  3. Disney (multiple entries): Bans kids from DisneyWorld restaurant; Changes “It’s A Small World” to “A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America; and Sells “High School Musical” panties for tween girls with the phrase “Dive In” on them.
  4. Woolworths (UK) launches Lolita brand of beds for young girl
  5. JetBlue lives up to Southwest’s parody ad by charging for pillows.
  6. Russia uses smiling kids in tourism ad for war zone
  7. Residents of Lesbos sue those other lesbians over brand name
  8. Motrin gets headache from viral moms video
  9. Butcher’s ads feature “Meat Products, Fresh Service” on naked woman
  10. Hershey asks if you’ve found Mr. Goodbar

Special Jury Awards

Co-Branding That Shouldn’t Have Been

The Alpha & Omega of Over-reaching

Product Failure

The Penguins Of Irony “Oh NO You Din’t” Awards

Previous years’ lists

Penguin seal

Hotel fires staff for providing too much customer service

A small hotel on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast has fired all its male employees for repeatedly having affairs with foreign female guests.

The hotel now only has women staffers. I wonder if this will mean more traffic from Olivia and other “women-friendly” travel agencies.

The issue is settled: Hallmark selling gay marriage cards

You can’t get more mainstream than this.

The nation’s largest greeting card company is rolling out same-sex wedding cards — featuring two tuxedos, overlapping hearts or intertwined flowers, with best wishes inside. “Two hearts. One promise,” one says. … The Greeting Card Association, a trade group, says it does not track how many companies provide same-sex cards but believes the number is expanding. “The fact that you have someone like Hallmark going into that niche shows it’s growing and signals a trend,” said Barbara Miller, a spokeswoman for the association.

Have to say since gay marriage became legal here in the Bay State the biggest difference I’ve noticed is … um … yeah … let me see … nope. Can’t think of one. I look forward to the American Family Association boycott of Hallmark. (My bad — it’s Concerned Women for America calling for the boycott.)

BTW, over on her blog Mrs. CollateralDamage has a most excellent post on First Same-Sex Civil Marriage at Disneyland. The couple is lovely and the fact that they got married at Disneyland puts the lie to the fact that only heteros are tacky. (Truth is I had to put in a snarky (and false) comment so I wouldn’t mention the fact that I got all choked up looking at the wedding pictures. I gotta protect my image. Don’t tell anyone I told you, OK?)

Photo by Chenin Boutwell.

C’mon now what marketer can look at a couple that is so happy and not think, “Damn, there’s money to made here!”

(BTW, this is the headline of the day: Gay misery continues with baton drop. Is that really all it takes to make the LGBT community miserable?)