Article on Phillips was 'sloppy journalism'

Letter to the editor

"Sloppy journalism" is the only term that came to mind after I read the article in today's Herald titled "Phillip fits winners' mold." I was thrilled to see Phillip on the cover of The Herald and sat down with excitement to read the paper this morning. Unfortunately, my excitement quickly turned sour as I picked up the "tone" of the article. There are so many things wrong here, that it's hard to know where to begin.

To throw Phillip into a category, so harshly stated as "WGWG" -- white guys with guitars -- takes a nice family program and tosses in a disgusting mix of racism. To publish statements such as those made by Yahoo's "Reality Rocks" blogger Lindsey Parker, who stated "Idol has become a closed door if you're not a Caucasian guy who plays folky rock or country music. ... I know some people will be outraged if Phillip wins." This "enlightened" yet ignorant blogger then goes on to say, "I think if Phillip Phillips wins season 11, then as 'Idol' fans we kind of have to collectively shrug our shoulders and say 'It's clear as day. You don't have to be the best singer. You just have to be a cute white straight guy that appeals to a lot of the voting demographic."

This ridiculous and hateful banter is disrespectful, disgusting and dumb. Clearly, any person of any race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation has fair play when it comes to who they would vote for on "American Idol." Taking the low road and throwing out the race card only serves to diminish Phillip's true talent. Rather than admitting that he is truly the best artist on the show, they'd rather chalk it up to the color of his skin or his humble small-town background.

The second thing completely wrong with this horrible article is the fact that The Albany Herald would publish a mass-produced AP (Associated Press) article on our "hometown boy." I wonder which person at The Herald considered this to be a good idea, especially when the actual title of this piece was "Idol favorite would continue winner monotony." Maybe they thought changing the title would make it not so horrible? Well, if you haven't been told otherwise ... it was horrible. Why not write a personal piece about Phillip and his family? Or focus on the positive impact on the economy that the 20,000 fans brought to our town over the weekend? Instead you chose to publish the horrible, spiteful thoughts of some small-minded bloggers and you contributed to the ongoing racial division of our town. Shame on you, Albany Herald. You may not have written the words but you chose to publish it. You owe Phillip, his family and all of his fans a huge apology.