One Million Moms (part of the conservative/Christian pressure group the American Family Association) has come out saying that JC Penny ditch Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson because she’s gay. The mind boggles at anyone thinking that this is somehow corrupting their children. Exactly how does Ellen saying “buy this JCP stuff!” in a commercial promote the mythical homosexual agenda? I mean, it’s not exactly as if she’s snogging her girlfriend while pink unicorns sodomize each other in the background to disco music.
Anyway, I gave the two post on their website a read, and found enough basic English and debating errors that I thought it would be edutaining to blog about them. Yes, Virgina, I *am* feeling a teensie bit petty this morning, but them’s the breaks! If you’re gonna pass yourself off as a serious organization, I’m gonna take you to task for really basic mistakes like the ones to follow.
First off, here’s screen caps of the original two posts. I’m not going to link to them for two reasons: (1) I don’t want to contribute to increasing their site’s search engine rankings and (2) to prevent link rot.
So, off we go then to deconstruct the first post!
- The author manages to mangle DeGeneres as “Degeneres”. Whups, should have turned off the auto correct! Or at least proofread the article before publishing.
- Basic grammatical errors! For instance, “…hiring an open homosexual spokesperson…” should be “…hiring an openly homosexual spokesperson…”
- Logical error: “Unless JC Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war…” Wouldn’t being neutral mean that JCP should ignore the issues of the ‘culture war’ altogether, and base their hiring on anything but sexual orientation? Particularly as I doubt that their commercials are going to be promoting any sexuality at all, straight or gay. I rather imagine that they’ll be more focused on selling things to people, that being their business. Which in fact the article goes on to point out: “Their marketing strategy is to help families shop and receive a good value for their money.” Soooo a bit of muddy thinking there, no?
- They’re also just pulling statistics out of their asses: “The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there.” Fair enough – let’s see the surveys you’ve done or the third party data and reports you’ve analyzed to support this statement, then. Oh – citation needed? Whups. Oddly enough, in choosing their spokesperson I’m willing to bet that JCP’s massive marketing department did do some basic consumer polling and go over their own sales data and consumer profiles.
- Another logical error: “By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon…” I’m not sure how hiring an openly gay comedian is pro-gay, exactly, especially since the reasons given for hiring Ellen don’t mention sexuality at all. And while pink dollars are big dollars, I doubt that they’d be enough to support a huge department store chain. Which oddly enough the article points out itself: “The small percentage of customers they are attempting to satisfy will not offset their loss in sales.” And again, I seriously doubt the focus of the commercials will be something like Ellen saying “As a lesbian mom, I’d like to say that shopping at JCP is the gayest thing you can do to help support destroying America!” I’m pretty sure homosexuality will be left completely out of it, and that their commercials are going to be about getting people to shop at JCP regardless of their sexual orientation. In fact, the reason JCP chose Ellen was – and this was cited in the article – was because JCP felt that they “share the same fundamental values as Ellen…integrity, simplicity and respect.” Perhaps OMM could learn something from that.
The second article is more of the same:
- Still mangling DeGeneres as “Degeneres”.
- Still having problems with grammar: “hangs up on them rather than verses hearing their concerns” should be either “hangs up on them rather than hearing their concerns” or “hangs up on them verses hearing their concerns”. Also, they’re using the homophone “verses” instead of “versus.”
- Still having problem with constructing logical arguments, too: “Degeneres is not a true representation of the type of families who shop at the retailer.” This after quoting the company president in their first article saying that she does, and exactly what the family values are that she represents? And again, no data is presented to back up this opinion. It’s just flung out there with no support at all. In fact, it’s flat out contradicted by the quote from the company’s president, who should certainly be in a position to provide and expert opinion.
- Some serious hyperbole going on, too. Is it really tragic to be transferred to the customer service department manager’s voicemail?
- More logical fallacies going on: “Since the corporate office doesn’t consider your call important, please call your local store manager.” Er, generalizing a bit there? Just because the author felt that their call wasn’t given the attention the author felt it deserved doesn’t mean that the corporate office considers all calls about the matter unimportant.
So. Rather than focusing on promoting hate, perhaps these moms should be focusing on promoting good old traditional American values like paying attention to detail and taking pride in your work. Especially when you’re an organization rather than an individual and posting something intended to be seen by the broader public.
You’d think as moms they’d be paying more attention to kid-oriented basics like reading, writing and ‘rithmitic. I’ve always thought that education and raising awareness of LBGT issues was important, but I didn’t think that ignorance really ran this deep. Now I see that basic education in things like grammar, spelling and logical argument will have to be done first before we can move on to more advanced topics like “tolerance”. OK, OK, a low blow, but man – how can anyone be expected to take such badly written claptrap seriously?
PS: I used the acronym OMM instead of the organization’s name to keep search engine ranking low. However, every time I wrote it all I could hear in my head was Cookie Monster going OMM NOM NOM NOM! Am I the only one? It sure made writing this post a lot more fun!
hiring an open homosexual spokesperson