April 8, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 100  

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The critics failed to realize...

Jordan Bell

Managing Editor

“It is a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell.” - Wilbur F. Storey

Emmett Macfarlane (Editor-in-chief), Paolo Zinatelli (Deputy Editor) and myself opened the massive white door to The Gazette office on May 1, 2003 with a clean slate. Almost 50 Gazette staff members were crazy enough to give the three of us the reins to the greatest student newspaper in Canada, as well as the only daily university publication in the Great White North.

Balls out.

This year, we published an altered picture of a Trent University student with slit wrists for a story about Trent’s Suicide Week. “How dare The Gazette take such a nonchalant attitude towards suicide,” the critics yelped. Unfortunately, they failed to realize we were poking fun at our elementary friends up north, not suicide.

We published an editorial cartoon showing that any time a person legitimately critiques the policies of the Israeli government, they are immediately labelled an anti-Semite. “How dare The Gazette publish such inflammatory material towards Jews,” the critics blasted. Unfortunately, they failed to realize that by responding with such blindless vigour, they were clearly proving the point we were trying to convey.

We published an editorial entirely about the vagina, making jokes such as “How about a Penis Week?” “Did the vagina cake taste like tuna?” and “Hitler as a giant vagina.” “How dare The Gazette slander the sacred vagina,” the critics orgasmed, er screamed, er whispered. Unfortunately, they failed to realize we like vagina. That’s it.

We published a Sex Issue with a cover containing six scantily clad girls lying exotically on a bed. “How dare The Gazette objectify women,” the critics argued, with one annoyed reader even arguing that we were advocating the rape of women. Unfortunately, they failed to realize the girls were all consenting adults, it was a SEX ISSUE and it probably did more for the lives of Western students than any bottle of Viagra or Sue Johanson-endorsed dildo. And if our cover advocated rape, then damn, I feel sorry for women when the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hits stands.

We published a Spoof Issue called The Gazelle with a cover containing six scantily clad boys lying exotically on a bed. “Wow, that is so funny,” the same critics boasted. Interesting. Critics were also pissed that we wrote stories about Jesus and rub ’n’ tug shops. It’s a spoof issue — everything is a joke. The stories are made up. You’re crazy.

So to the Israel Action Committee, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, Western Sports and Recreation Services, the University Students’ Council, Housing, feminists and the many others who bitched about the content in this year’s Gazette, I offer you some evidence: the average pickup for The Gazette is the highest it’s been since we starting counting.

Gazette readers have spoken, and we have raised hell.

I don’t know Wilbur F. Storey, but I do have one thing to say to him as I ride off into the sunset: Mission accomplished.

The Gazette: “We’re smarter than people think.”



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