Lois Wexler Didn't Deserve That ...

... no woman would.

Some of you already know what I'm talking about -- anybody that saw the front page of the Sun-Sentinel on Sunday. For those of you who didn't, the entire page was dominated by a photograph of Broward County Commissioner Lois Wexler in her driveway picking up the newspaper. She had obviously just gotten out of bed and the photograph was, uh, let's say unflattering.

New Times is known for being hard-hitting -- and Lois knows I've taken some hard shots at her in the past. But this was just about as devastating a thing you can do to most women, especially of that age. They spend a solid portion of their mornings -- hell, a solid portion of their lives -- toiling on themselves with expensive cosmetics to avoid such exposure.

The meanness of the giant front-page photograph might have been justified if it helped tell the story, but it really didn't. The report by Peter Franceschina, about politicians who hold part-time homes in their districts to satisfy residency requirements, was a solid piece of journalism. But the photograph didn't do much for it, other than give it a sense of voyeuristic weirdness.  

It's not so much the inclusion of the photograph that is bothersome, though. If it was played small inside the paper, I wouldn't be writing this post. But it took up half the front page and was splayed in boxes on the street and convenience stores all over town. I actually like the ballsiness of the call and this isn't a horrible journalistic crime; no shattering of vanity can rise to that level. But this one crossed the lines of decency -- right into cruelty. 

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