If, as part of a work assignment, a male journalist asked a female co-worker what material she reads, and then announced that he reads women authors who write porn, this would give rise to a claim of sexual harassment.
But from the San Francisco Chronicle’s perspective, if the female interviewee is not an employee, male reporters are free to say whatever they want and then publish their sexually harassing remarks.
Consider the interchange between Chronicle reporter Aidin Vaziri and black folk-jazz singer Corinne Bailey Rae in the July 23 Datebook section:
Vaziri: What kind of stuff do you read?
Rae: I read a lot of women authors
Vaziri: So do I—most of them write for Penthouse Forum
Rae ignored Vaziri’s comment, and went on to note that she is reading a book about the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960’s.
Vaziri’s music interviews typically comprise his stupid comments and inane questions, and further explain why the Chronicle’s music coverage is so poor and its Sunday circulation so low. But allowing Vaziri to inject and then publish sexist innuendo crosses a line, and might finally give the Datebook editors the excuse they need to finally can the no-talent bum.
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