Saturday, October 24, 2009

What Was Lost in The New York Times' Hugh Hefner Article

The New York Times published a profile of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner titled (and I'm sure the editors are still patting themselves on the back for this) "The Loin in Winter: Hefner Reflects and Grins." It's well worth a read (and Hefner tweeted positively about it).

Still, one thing kept coming back to me. The article's overwhelming focus is on sex and gossip. Only at the end of the article do we get a sense that Hefner himself thinks that there are other aspects of his life -- I'd suggest his pioneering role in supporting gay rights or in confronting racism -- are being overshadowed by a focus on sex.

After all (as perhaps only a gay blogger can still write), Hefner's legacy was not to make sex the be-all and end-all of life or even of Playboy. What he has indicated is that sex is a part of life, is healthy, and shouldn't be excluded it.

He notes at the end of the Times article, "“We just literally live in a very different world and I played a part in making it that way,” he said. “Young people have no idea about that.”

Chalk up another example of media being too ill-informed to tell the story that they should be telling.

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