Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And a Bronx Cheer to You Too


Why, oh why, must newspaper editors and writers continue to trot out the trite, overused, stereotypical expressions when writing about Italian-Americans? Haven't we had enough of the bad "Italian accents" and the "fahgedabowdits"?

Case in point, a recent article in the Covallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times online. They run a column called "Roses 'N Razzies" that includes short tidbits of good, bad and funny news. The article in question includes this piece about a New York City police detective who apparently failed a drug test (it's the second raspberry down in the column):

RASPBERRIES to the “My-wife-spiked-my-meatballs-with-pot-and-that’s-
why-I-flunked-my-drug-test” defense.


That’s the story that 22-year veteran New York City police detective Anthony Chiofala tried to sell his superiors. Chiofala — a member of the joint terrorism task force (for real) said his wife so wanted him to leave police work that she substituted marijuana for oregano in his meatball dinner. Apparently she wanted him to be fired from the police department (and lose his pension and be disgraced).

Despite his wife backing up this story, Chiofala’s cop colleagues didn’t buy it. We can imagine how the other veteran detectives reacted to this defense: “Wha? You flippinkiddin’ me?”

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne simply said Thursday that Chiofala’s claims “simply weren’t credible.”

Yeah. What kind of Italian-American detective wouldn’t realize that the meatball had no oregano? Fahgedabowdit.
Do we really need the "veteran detective's reaction" and "fahgedabowdit"? Couldn't the article have been written without those insulting sentences and still conveyed the amusement the author was obviously going for? The "veteran detective's reaction" obviously is not a real quote, it's just the author's lame attempt at some local color at the expense of an Italian-American subject.

Please Stop It.

There is no writer's name on the piece. I guess they didn't want to actually be associated with this crap. There are no reader comments either. I'm not sure if that means readers in Corvallis think its funny or just didn't bother to read the column.

Did I mention to Please Stop It?