Two tales of gender, politics, weblogs, and cyberculture

Two tales of gender, politics, weblogs, and cybercultureJerz’s Literacy Weblog)

Both tales are pretty sad.

One is the story of Alexandra Polier, falsely accused of having an affair with Sen. John Kerry. According to Matt Drudge:

“In an off-the-record conversation with a dozen reporters earlier this week General Wesley Clark plainly stated: ‘Kerry will implode over an intern issue.’”

Polier painstakingly traces the sloppy reporting that led to her name being splashed across headlines. Polier had her editor call up the reporter who first named her, Bryan Flynn of The Sun, who brags smugly about breaking the story, but then when the phone is passed to Polier, he suddenly becomes too busy to talk to her. –“John Kerry intern scandal – Alexandra Polier’s account

The other is the story of Jessica Cutler:

…I posted my diary on a blog – the Washingtonienne – so my friends could read it for fun. As a young single woman, the diary was mostly about my sex life. I could not believe anybody besides them would want to read such a thing. But thirteen days later, it was all over Capitol Hill…. Then I saw my name and photo all over the internet. Type my name into Google and you’ll find 32,600 results. I have read some of the racist, sexist comments about me posted on the internet with utter fascination. Unfortunately, these people can post anonymously, while I had to own up to all the stuff I wrote. But that is exactly what I love about the internet: expanding the social dialogue via the unrestricted sharing of ideas. Especially the ones that nobody wants to take credit for. — “Senator Sacked Me Over Tales of Congress

Polier shows superhuman restraint as she demonstrates the meticulous reporting skills that were so clearly absent from global reports linking her to Kerry. Cutler seems to think she’s writing a Dave Barry humor column: “I opened mail all day (which is why you should never bother to write your representatives in government: somebody like me reads your letters). And then I either threw the letters in the garbage or I would make fun of them with co-workers. In retrospect, that job was perfect for me.”

Assuming both women get book deals, whose will probably sell better?