In response to the New Times post mocking cosplayers and attendees of Palm Con, several members of our community called and wrote New Times to voice their disappointment and concern. Chuck Strouse, the Editor in Chief of New TImes sent this response to one of those emails.
“I am very sorry you were offended by the blog posting. It was all meant in good fun. I truly hope neither I nor New Times come under attack by zombies.
CES. Chuck Strouse. Editor in Chief. 305 571-7620”
I personally don’t find this to be an acceptable response. Posting images of cosplayers and attendees (particularly minors) and mocking them publicly is not acceptable as sport. New Times did not apologize to the victims. New Times did not issue a retraction. In fact they haven't commented publicly at all, only when they deem expedient in private.
New Times seems to feel that shaming the community is acceptable, while disingenuously pretending that their pieces (and more over their responses) are meant in innocent fun.
They are using their publication, and the strength of it’s presence and circulation to put a legitimacy behind their message of derision. They are portraying the fan community in a way that delegitimizes us and makes us available for attack and scorn.
Their editorial staff has condoned the creation of an abusive atmosphere that they are continuing to promote without taking ownership of their actions.
Whether or not the paper enjoys the increased ad revenue generated by this sort of spectacle is immaterial to the damage that they are doing to the community, which must take precedence.
As a statement of fact, I personally will not do business with New Times any more. That is not a threat, it is simply a consequence of the actions that they continue to support, and the editorial mandate they have chosen.