Slate’s Double X blog launched yesterday, and right off the bat, contributing writer Linda Hirschman fired across the bow with a screed against Nick Denton’s rival lady-site Jezebel. The piece, titled “The Trouble With Jezebel: How Jezebel Is Hurting Women,” opens with a description of an infamous, drunken appearance by two former Jezebel writers* on Lizz Winstead’s “Thinking and Drinking” show, and goes on to lambaste said writers, their co-workers, and what Hirschman calls the “Jezebel life,” which she sees as characterized by “high-risk” behavior — drinking, sex, oversharing — perpetuated and encouraged by a business model that rewards participants for being irresponsible. In particular, she takes two of the site’s writers to task for sharing stories about being date-raped and not reporting it, stories they shared, she indicates, for attention-getting purposes as much as anything else. “It didn’t take the bloggers long to realize that one way to attract a lot of traffic was to offer up outrageous behavior to the clicking public,” she notes.
Jezebel writer Megan Carpentier has already fired back with a rebuttal pointing out the strange misogyny in Hirschman’s screed. It’s a fine read if thinking about the politics of rape in the afternoon doesn’t cause your vagina to ache in misery. But we’re stuck on what a strange editorial decision it was for Double X to print this essay their first day out. It seems odd that they would want to come out of the gate with a piece that establishes them as shrill, uninformed pundits. Haven’t they got enough to contend with, with that name and that logo? Then again, maybe they’ve discovered from their competitor that one way to attract a lot of traffic is to offer up outrageous behavior to the clicking public.
Full disclosure, we are friendly with one of the infamous bloggers. But we’re also friendly with a Double X blogger, so it’s even.