• Debby Carroll
  • My Letter to the New York Times About Their "Mommy Blogger" Article.
My Letter to the New York Times About Their "Mommy Blogger" Article.
Contributor
Written by
Debby Carroll
March 2010
Contributor
Written by
Debby Carroll
March 2010
Is the NY Times Really Threatened by the Mother Bloggers? The article In Sunday's paper (March 12) began with a misogynistic, misleading headline (Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand) and went down from there. The tone of the article is condescending and smacks of envy. As they say on SNL, “Really, NYT? Is the august New York Times so threatened by the success of this trend in online publishing that they would actually print this so obviously subjective article which sounds like it was written by one of the mean girls in high school? How was it relevant that the organizer of the event wasn’t wearing shoes? In one of the bibles of public speaking, presenters are told to imagine the audience naked in order to feel less nervous. Great public speakers find a way to relate to the audience and make them feel comfortable, too. Perhaps Ms. Romero knew that in her audience were many women who came to the conference alone and were perhaps feeling some trepidation. Perhaps she is the quintessential professional who knew that if she kicked off her shoes, her audience would immediately be put at ease and not feel so alone in a room full of strangers. And, perhaps your article could have given her kudos for knowing so well how to reach her audience, instead of portraying her as a country bumpkin who just fell off a truck. It seems absurd that the paper of record would be threatened by this tiny online niche, but how else does one explain the mean-spirited tone? The headline implies that mothers are so busy blogging that they are neglecting their children. Nowhere in the article is there a fact to back this up, nor is it mentioned again. I get it that headlines are supposed to grab readers but did you really intend to do that with a headline that is insulting and has nothing to do with the story? The article does, in fact, present some of the facts about the reasons and results of blogging, but the headline and opening lead are insulting and don’t match the remainder of the article. Perhaps it is because these enterprising bloggers have succeeded where newspapers are failing. When newspapers are hemorrhaging readers and ad revenue, bloggers are giving audiences what they want and are gathering the eyeballs and the wallets that go with them.

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Comments
  • Tania Pryputniewicz

    I responded somewhat in like kind to an article written by Ann Hulbert, posted at Slate May 2009 (titled, "Parents Who Talk Too Much: What do "bad" moms and slacker dads have to tell us?"). Hulbert was looking more at in-print Mom-oirs, but in a similar vein in terms of attitude. I appreciated your comments; I had the same “wow, hit a sore spot” reaction when I read the Times article, and wondered how accurately it reflects how people view mommy bloggers. I guess that sums up the role of the critic, but like you, I think it matters to ferret out the mindset of the critic. Loved your “mean girl in high school” metaphor.

    I posted here briefly on the Hulbert article: “Mommy Bloggers, Graphic Novels and The Accelerating Universe;”

    http://poetrymom.blogspot.com/2009/05/mommy-bloggers-graphic-novels-and.html

  • Debby Carroll

    Yes, I think you're right. An article about career men (I don't even think that term exists) would have been fashioned entirely differently.

  • Laura Brennan

    Huh, I didn't mind the article itself. The headline and those nasty illustrations, however, were just plain ugly. And I could not help but wonder if an article about male entrepreneurs, in any medium, would have even mentioned kids or families.

  • The Salonniere

    Thanks for sharing this response -- I assume you have also shared it with the Mother Writer! group? Seems like a great place to have a lively discussion. My mom sent me the link to the article and I haven't read it yet, but felt irritated by the nasty tone of the headline, too. Joanne Bamberger, btw, who is a member here, has done a lot of thinking and writing about "blogging with integrity," you might want to check her out!