I was chatting with a friend yesterday about the purpose of this blog. I had mentioned at some point to her that I don’t want to intentionally court controversy, and that I want the blog to stay focused on what it was designed to: to focus on what is happening in popular culture right now. Well, right now, something is happening that is controversial, but could change the way that the media reports on…well, anything.
Last night, New York Magazine released this powerful magazine cover (above), and in the process of doing so, demolished the aggressive smear campaign that Bill Cosby and his team of expensive lawyers has been running following the numerous allegations of sexual assault brought to light earlier this year. Cosby has largely denied the allegations, and then attempted to discredit his victims.
Sadly, unless you read the New York Magazine piece last night, you won’t be able to see it again online for what appears to be an indeterminate time. Shortly after the piece was published, New York Magazine’s website was hacked and completely shut down. A Twitter user, Vikingdom2016, has taken credit for the cyber-assault, though insists that the hack is not about the Cosby story but simply because they “hate New York.” Regardless, it does seem a little like silencing these 35 women, all victims of a very wealthy, very powerful man. These 35 women have already spoken to the magazine, though; the women that need this article to be read are represented by the empty chair. They are the ones that need this.
In reading this story, I’ve realized that popular culture is controversial. It’s going to be difficult to write and report on popular culture without delving deeper and providing meaningful analysis. Those who think this magazine cover will go by without any additional thought are wrong–this art will be remembered. It will impact culture in as-yet unknown ways.
Image source: NYMag.com/photographer Amanda Demme