1. Yikes. The New Republic is routinely irresponsible and disgusting these days, but may have set a new low—I can’t say for sure, because I only intermittently read the rag—with an ugly, homophobic rant by Dale Peck about Pete Buttigieg. So great was the outcry that the far left magazine pulled the piece, something it would not do and has not done when it has savaged a conservative or Republican, though not over sexual orientation, just horrible things like being male, white, or wanting to enforce laws. Here’s an excerpt from what remains on the web…Peck is himself gay, interestingly:
The only thing that distinguishes the mayor of South Bend from all those other well-educated reasonably intelligent white dudes who wanna be president is what he does with his dick (and possibly his ass, although I get a definite top-by-default vibe from him, which is to say that I bet he thinks about getting fucked but he’s too uptight to do it). So let’s dish the dish, homos….He’s been out for, what, all of four years, and if I understand the narrative, he married the first guy he dated. And we all know what happens when gay people don’t get a real adolescence because they spent theirs in the closet: they go through it after they come out. And because they’re adults with their own incomes and no parents to rein them in they do it on steroids (often literally)….the last thing I want in the White House is a gay man staring down 40 who suddenly realizes he didn’t get to have all the fun his straight peers did when they were teenagers.
I’m not saying I don’t want him to shave his chest or do Molly or try being the lucky Pierre (the timing’s trickier than it looks, but it can be fun when you work it out). These are rites of passage for a lot of gay men, and it fuels many aspects of gay culture. But like I said, I don’t want it in the White House.
I want a man whose mind is on his job, not what could have been–or what he thinks he can still get away with.
I know I keep asking this, but how could an editor not have ethics alarms ringing like a seven alarm fire when examining vile material like that?
2. Yikes! I didn’t see this coming...I posted what I thought was a nice, innocuous acknowledgement of the Boston Red Sox management doing something kind for the family of a forgotten walk-on during the team’s legendary 1967 pennant winning season who was inexplicably snubbed over the years. They gave the late Ken Poulsen’s son a 1967 World Series ring in an on-field ceremony before a game last week.
Then I received this in the comments:
I am Kendra Poulsen, Ken’s daughter and first born. I was not informed of this honor and presentation of the pennant ring they gave my brother yesterday. Obviously, I am devastated that me and my son were left out! And Ken had 2 grandsons. My child and my brother’s. The other children were step children from a recent marriage. It all makes me sick! The Sox should be ashamed of themselves. I could care less about the money.
I can’t quite make an ethics call because I can’t answer the threshold “What’s going on here?” query. So far, I’ve alerted a Boston Red Sox sportswriter friend, and that’s all. Was it the team’s obligation to track down the entire Poulsen family for its gesture of contrition? Did the son fail his duty to his sister?
3. Yikes! Andy Warhol won a lawsuit even though he’s dead! In 1981, portrait photographer Lynn Goldsmith photographed Prince for Newsweek. Three years later, Vanity Fair licensed one of the black-and-white photos from Goldsmith for $400, and gave it to Andy Warhol to create an illustration for another Prince article.
Warhol, as he was prone to do, created 16 images “based on” the photo, and one of them ran alongside the article. Goldsmith only became aware of Warhol’s use of her work when Vanity Fair republished the article after Prince’s death in 2016. She believed that Warhol had infringed on her copyright, and said so, but took no immediate legal action. In April of 2017, however, the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts sued Goldsmith, claiming she was trying to shake down the organization. (I assume she had asked the Foundation for compensation for the use of her photograph.) The suit demanded a declaratory judgment that the Prince series did not infringe on Goldsmith’s copyright and that the works were subject to fair use.
The suit made sense, because most of Warhol’s works appropriated the images of other designers, photographs and artists. If the word got around that what Andy was doing was copyright theft, the foundation would be in big trouble. Goldsmith countersued.
This month, U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl ruled in support of the Warhol Foundation, saying in part,
“The Prince Series works can reasonably be perceived to have transformed Prince from a vulnerable, uncomfortable person to an iconic, larger-than-life figure. The humanity Prince embodies in Goldsmith’s photograph is gone. Moreover, each Prince series work is immediately recognizable as a ‘Warhol’ rather than as a photograph of Prince — in the same way that Warhol’s famous representations of Marilyn Monroe and Mao are recognizable as ‘Warhols,’ not as realistic photographs of those persons.”
Goldsmith says she will appeal the ruling. “My hope is that more of the visual community, particularly photographers, stand up along with me to say that your work cannot just be taken from you without your permission, and to show their support of the importance of what the copyright law can mean not only for me, but for future generations,” she says. The photographer has already spent about $400,000 on the lawsuit.
The Copyright Act of 1976, which came into effect in 1978, states that “transformation” of the underlying work is “fair use.” Berry Werbin, Goldsmith’s lawyer, says that the application of the law to photography is too broad, saying, “Obviously we and our client are disappointed with the fair use finding, which continues the gradual erosion of photographers’ rights in favor of famous artists who affix their names to what would otherwise be a derivative work of the photographer and claim fair use by making cosmetic changes.“
What do you think? Fair use, or rip-off?
4. Yikes! What do you make of today’s “Unethical Quote of the Week,” Gov. Inslee saying that he would appoint Women’s Soccer team captain Megan Rapinoe as his Secretary of State if he becomes President?