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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Meet Kirk Makin—Stupid Fucking Credulous Hack of the Day

posted by on April 30 at 15:15 PM

Yeah, yeah—again with the Globe and Mail story. It’ll be out of my system soon, gang, I swear. But it needs to be said…

Reporter Kirk Makin exposed his bias—he pulled it out and slowly stroked it—when he used the word “raunchy” to describe the sex life of a married couple in his piece today. Way to be objective there, Kirk. And then there’s this:

Judge Nicholas noted that the couple—who have a son—had regularly engaged in sadomasochistic behaviour over the years.
0416makin230.jpg You gotta love how Makin drops in the detail about these two being parents. He might as well have written, “OMFG! They let these people have children? These raunchy-ass sadomasochists?” Because, of course, everyone knows that good parents, if they’re going to have sex at all, should only have vanilla sex.

As if insulting this particular couple and calling into question their fitness to parent weren’t bad enough, Makin fails Globe and Mail readers—raunchy or regular—by neglecting to get a quote from someone willing to defend a common type of sexual expression that is now, it seems, illegal in Ontario. Makin quotes a scandalized judge and a crusading prosecutor but he doesn’t bother to find anyone to speak for the other side, i.e. for all those raunchy, disenfranchised kinksters up there in Canada.

Compare Makin’s piece to this ABC News story about the bondage-gone-wrong death of a man in Tennessee last week. The ABC News piece includes several quotes from Susan Wright of the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom. From ABC News:

Bondage Rule of Thumb Broken

“You never, ever leave someone alone when they’re in bondage,” Wright said. “For safety reasons, if someone’s in bondage, you have to be there to observe them and make sure there are no complications.”

Wright likened responsible bondage to sky diving and rock climbing—both activities that are not smart to do solo. She said that typically, couples involved in the fetish establish safewords that are used when someone becomes uncomfortable.

“You don’t just up and leave someone because accidents happen,” she said. “These are sex games. People are just supposed to be having fun.”

So retroactive props to David Schoetz of ABC News for doing his job. And Makin? You’re a stupid fucking hack.

RSS icon Comments


Why do I feel like I know waaaaaaaaaay too much about Dan Savage's sex life now?

Posted by whatevernevermind | April 30, 2008 3:29 PM

So just bringing up the fact they have a son equals stating that those people shouldn't be allowed to procreate.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 30, 2008 3:32 PM

I am the sex columnist. I speak for the kinksters.

Posted by Dan Savage | April 30, 2008 3:33 PM

Dan, you should get your eyes checked. You seem to be able to spot these hacks from far away, but fail to see those on your own staff.

Posted by Dr. Specks | April 30, 2008 3:33 PM

It would appear to be pretty easy to become a "stupid fucking credulous hack" in Dan's book. Basically, it's written with about the perspective of a typical newspaper reader. It's not rabidly pro-S&M, but neither is it prudishly anti-S&M. It goes into some depth on the legal theories and precenent concerning consent in various circumstances involved. Which is actually quite remarkable, given that the only reason this case gets written up at all is its titilation value.

Posted by David Wright | April 30, 2008 3:49 PM

uh, dan, quick question... in any of your own writing do you consider yourself objective? you throw around the journalistic euqivalents of 'raunchy' (albeit from your own biased perspective) all the time, I mean, isn't that your shtick? so, uh, how is it then that other people, with other perspectives, aren't supposed to do the same? what's good for the goose ought to be good for the gander. criticize the underlying values, fine, but you're on awfuly weak ground in my mind o be flailing about with respect to other's use of inflammatory language

Posted by pot kettle black | April 30, 2008 3:54 PM

@6 Dan is open about his biases and they are the whole point of his writing. He is simply pointing out the failure of the journalists whose purpose is objective writing. Especially when that failure of objectivity will result in the oppression of the rights to sexual autonomy for Canadian BSDMers or the continuation of the abject failure that is our para-military war on Marijuana.

Posted by vooodooo84 | April 30, 2008 4:53 PM

Ah, David -- that "typical reader" assumption is part of what's killing the daily papers. Guess what? Their typical readers are likely to be downloading hard-core porn, smoking pot occasionally, and, some at least, engaging in "raunchy" sex. Holding people who are sexually adventurous with tongs and saying "eewww!" patronizes "typical" readers and alienates atypical readers. It's idiotic.

Gee, I wonder what Kirk here gets into? Missionary position het within-the-bounds sex only? Or does he, like most everybody, have something raunchy on his record?

Posted by Dan Savage | April 30, 2008 5:39 PM

Seeing as you are surrounded by hacks, I guess it's safe to say you are the authority on the subject.

Please tell me how in the age of increased print costs, lackluster ad sales and non existent online ad revenue that the Stranger is immune from the same slow death the daily papers are going through?

Oh that's right, tranny hookers and online bar ads provide a wealth of revenue.


Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | April 30, 2008 6:08 PM

It's all fun and games until little toddler Timmy comes out in the middle of the dinner party holding mommy and daddy's ball gag and vise grips.

Posted by Bob | April 30, 2008 6:21 PM

Takes one to know one!

Posted by twee | April 30, 2008 6:54 PM

The media tends to be reluctant to scrutinize itself, so I really appreciate posts like this. Keep up the excellent work. You may well be the #1 source for information on the Interweb.

Posted by Notecarder | April 30, 2008 7:23 PM

Well, apparently this is not the first time Makin's credibility as a journalist has been called into question. From the following website:

"Who needs the National Enquirer? We have the Globe and Mail!

Any paper which prints the fabricated quotes of Kirk Makin is garbage. Kirk Makin was found by the Press Council to have made up quotes.

We know Kirk Makin personally and he is a contemptible coward and bully who hides behind the skirts of the feminists at the Globe."

Posted by Rick Segreda | April 30, 2008 8:50 PM

As a Canadian, I just want to point out, in all fairness the globe and mail is typically a centre-right newspaper. Although a reporter adding in his own disgust with a private sex act is stupid and he definately earned the title of "Hack" - just keep in mind, like most conservatives, they just dont know any better.

You're lucky you're not picking up stories from the Toronto Sun via their religious cult leader, i mean, "moral" columnist Michael Coren - I think all you seattlites would explode from the crap that spews from his mouth.

Posted by Darek | May 1, 2008 7:30 AM

“You don’t just up and leave someone because accidents happen,” she said.

In this context especially (bondage scene gone wrong, I'm assuming), we really coulda used a comma after "someone," am I right? Sans comma, it's a whole different meaning....

Posted by LeslieC | May 1, 2008 7:34 AM

“You don’t just up and leave someone because accidents happen,” she said.

Seems like ABC shoulda gone old-school and put a comma in after "someone," because without it, the meaning is different. But sort of humorous without, I will say.

Posted by LeslieC | May 1, 2008 7:48 AM

sorry about the dual post. my bad.

Posted by leslieC | May 1, 2008 9:48 AM

"a common type of sexual expression that is now, it seems, illegal in Ontario"

I think the Globe and Mail story led you astray here (because the reporter isn't that great apperently).

Here's a report from another paper:

"Nicholas didn't believe her, concluding she hadn't forgotten about having anal sex and couldn't legally consent when she was unconscious.

But the judge found the accused wasn't choking her in order to assault her sexually but that it was for the "sexual high" as part of the couple's "sexual routine."

Nor did she agree with the Crown position that even a willing partner in "rough sex" can't consent to bodily harm -- and choking to unconsciousness is bodily harm.

In acquitting the man of aggravated assault, Nicholas agreed passing out is bodily harm but said in this case it wasn't life-threatening and was so brief the woman could consent to it. "

So choking people is still okay. She could consent to the choking. But she never consented to the anal, and that's what he's being charged with.

Posted by Jacob | May 1, 2008 6:44 PM

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