Dear Media, I Expect News for Every Advocacy Job Planned Parenthood Fills, Not Just Kate Kelly
Internet, stop it. Just stop it. What I’m about to say isn’t because of being anti-Kate Kelly or anti-Ordain Women or anything. It’s anti-news-that-doesn’t-matter.
Publications far and wide are abuzz with Kate Kelly’s recent announcement that she’s stepping in to help Utah’s Planned Parenthood organization maintain solvency and relevance. That’s all well and good, but why is it news? Who cares? The headline could read “Kate Kelly Starts Working the Evening Shift at Sinclair” and everyone would gobble it up. Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune, KSL, Daily Herald, Religious News Service, Standard-Examiner – what is wrong with you? Stop it.
I understand one part of the news – that Utah is defunding Planned Parenthood due to all of the current brouhaha, so keeping up on that does deserve a bit of attention. But if they had hired Mandy Nixon of Woods Cross to fill the role, no one would give a hoot. Why should they? It’s a job. That needed filling. And someone took it. End of non-story.
Nope, this is news because the media, especially in Mormon-heavy markets, is obsessed with Kate Kelly, because Kate Kelly = clicks. And it troubles me how easily we sell ourselves out just to keep our SEO in fine shape. (And I’m aware of the irony in writing about this when I, myself, am conjuring up my own traffic from the same story.)
Therefore, in a bid for equality, I now call on all of these news outlets and others to publish something when any of the 23 Public Policy and Advocacy jobs currently listed on Planned Parenthood’s website are filled. There are others for outreach and community engagement, so we have plenty to work with. I will be watching these openings, and as they are filled, if I do not see reporting, I will troll you to no end, Deseret News.
Doing so is only fair, no? Are you telling me whoever becomes the public affairs organizer for greater Milwaukee is any less important than Kate Kelly?
Moreover, Utah isn’t the only state defunding Planned Parenthood, so this is not an exceptional situation in need of an exceptional professional to create an exceptional story. New Hampshire, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama are also on the list, and chances are the Planned Parenthood Associations in those states have also brought on various forms of legal and outreach help.
What’s that, you say? Kate Kelly is huge because of Ordain Women, so this really is news? It’s not. The ship has sailed. Kate Kelly left Ordain Women due to unclear circumstances, got a free laptop, and carried on in Kenya. Her return to Utah is no more worthy of coverage than each time I visit the Del Taco of my youth when I visit my native Orange County. After all, I am helping that Del Taco not only survive, but thrive.
Move on, Internet. Let it go.