I’ve been “reading” The Eagle for 4 years now, but no more. As the latest wave of controversy has washed over this now-soggy newspaper, I’ve decided to extract myself from the torturous pseudo-news, painfully dry writing, and “better-than-thou” elitism pushed on us by the campus newspaper. Of course, I will still proudly read The Eagle‘s Sports Section, as it seems to be the only reporting they’re capable of, but the rest can be confidently chucked in the trash. Although this Marquez kerfuffle is certainly the thing that has pushed me over the edge, it is only the latest rotten-log The Eagle has hit during its downhill slide into the abyss of Journalistic disgrace.
I think it began last year, with the weekly column of Danger Schrage. If I may refresh your memory, Schrage was a editor prone to writing “slice of life” pieces, which he joyfully filled with vulgarity and twisted morals. Though I never had any negative reaction to his writing, others did. I recall that The Eagle came under some criticism for publishing such a controversial editor, and he eventually left the paper. I have little doubt that Marquez will end up the same way, but that’s beside the point. Schrage was a gift for The Eagle, in that he was controversial. He made people angry, people talked about it, and therefore more people read the paper. Of course, The Eagle couldn’t continue publishing such a harsh writer, so they had to let him go after gleefully exploiting his profanity for a few months. Unfortunately, it seems that they are now attempting the same feat. With Marquez’s controversial misogyny, student readership must be at an all time high. It seems that The Eagle is once again resorting to the lowest appeal to the human intellect: by igniting division and controversy, they’re gaining interest.
Of course, most media outlets do that to one degree or another. What I find most troubling about The Eagle is the outpouring of defense for Marquez from other editors. Ashford, Wick, and Oleksy have all risen to the battle cry, pouring their gasoline on the inferno of controversy. The sensible thing to do clearly would be to leave it alone – maybe Marquez tones it down, maybe not, who cares? – but it seems that sense is in short supply around the editorial offices of The Eagle. I found Oleksy’s response to the negative feedback to be most laughable. He was apparently offended by the fact that most of the late reader-responses have been to Marquez’s articles (because there’s So much Hard News printed in The Eagle, isn’t there?), and blames this on a denigrated study of the Humanities here at CSC. Now, putting aside his biased Department-centric viewpoint, I would offer the possibility that years of dry, uninteresting writing has created a situation where Marquez’s articles are The Only Things worth responding to. Funnier still is Oleksy’s claim that the “column should be treated as the light and fluffy non-news that it is” and that it “is not to be taken as a serious reckoning of facts”. Though I essentially agree with him, I find his statements striking when held against the Latin phrase “Semper Veritas” proudly printed on the front page of The Eagle. Semper Veritas indeed; it seems that The Eagle has gone the way of MSNBC and Fox News: Always Truthful, but not All the Time.
I suppose that some of this malfunction is to be expected from time to time in a small college newspaper. Everyday is a slow news-day, really, and The Eagle has a lot of pages that it needs to fill (and they can’t all be sports). Nonetheless, I expected better, and I think CSC deserves it. A more creative approach could be taken to the weekly news, one which doesn’t stir-up trouble and hurt people’s feelings. Marquez is clearly a talented writer, and he shouldn’t limit his topics to ugly women and bad mornings. Perhaps the culture corner could be, I don’t know… cultural??? I would love to hear Marquez’s opinions about the latest season of “Trueblood”, fall movies, new books and the current pop music sensations. Hell, have him write about high fashion! I’m sure he’d be excellent at any of these things.
However, I doubt any of this will happen. The Eagle probably won’t strengthen its writing with objectivity, or sacrifice its bountiful opinion pieces for real journalism. Sadder still is that another talented prospective writer, Marquez, has been sucked into the cycle of controversial editorials which The Eagle seems to be banking on. He will undoubtedly be chewed up and pushed through, without ever really having a chance to show his potential. Worst of all, the head editors of the newspaper seem to be endorsing all of this, and that’s why I’m done with The Eagle.
—James “The Braying Ass” Robertson,
senior of Lincoln