In today's article, Should We Ban Fraternities? Or Just Watch Them Destroy Themselves?, Monica Weymouth asks the question.
The opinion piece notes two deplorable acts recently committed in Oklahoma and at Penn State, racist and violent acts that are being addressed by the universities and even the police. If the age of the internet has taught us anything, it's that criminal idiots love to broadcast their moronically criminal behavior online. But it's also taught us that those reading the news are scouring the web for the worst of the worst, and the media is more than willing to give it to them.
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Out of thousands, maybe millions of college fraternities, Weymouth cites only three incidents in her self described desire to see "fraternities destroy themselves." It's bad enough when readers fall prey to subjective journalism, but when journalists find themselves unable to look at the broader scope, well that's just shoddy journalism.
I've never been a fan of the Greek system. I'm Greek enough as it is, in that I have to shave my back, I could live on a diet of olives and lamb, and I know that Phi is "F," not "P." Sorry to the Phi Kappa Taus at my alma mater, but your letters spell "Phukt."
Nonetheless, they aren't all horrible organizations. In fact, most teach camaraderie, charity, and emphasize the reason their brothers are in school to begin with: academia.
Like the general public's macabre interest in negative news, Weymouth's article showcases an attitude toward her experience at Penn that focuses solely on what the university's frat's were doing wrong, while completely ignoring what any were doing right.
But on another note, where's the mention of sororities? If PhillyMag.com wants to staff out an article about the demons of college fraternities, give it to someone with inside experience. There must be at least one college alum at Philadelphia Magazine who was in a fraternity.
This article isn't just bad journalism. Bad journalism is everywhere, and we gloss over it. This is irresponsible journalism. By allowing Weymouth to heap the acts of a few on the shoulders of the overwhelming majority diminishes the credibility of her magazine. But it also hate mongers and encourages readers to ignorantly accept the false notion that a few isolated - albeit disgusting - incidents apply to every fraternity in the country.