This Just In: Orange County Register's Brian Calle is Not a Douche
Lorena Gonzalez as Stanford cheerleader (second from left) and today (inset).
Courtesy Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez's office and (inset) California Assembly
UPDATE NO. 2, JAN. 6, 2:39 P.M.: Turnabout is fair play: The Register apologized for a phrase in an editorial about a new employment law for professional cheerleaders and the Weekly (or at least me) apologizes for misidentifying the writer of the disputed text. "I did not write the article nor did I approve of it being written," says the Reg's Brian Calle in an email. "I was on vacation and as soon as I returned and saw it I immediately retracted the statements and wrote the retort. The Assemblywoman discovered that I was responsible for overseeing the Opinion department, not writing the editorial." So, when re-reading the original post, please remove Mr. Calle's name and replace it with mine in your mind as you discern who the douche is. Well, me and the mystery writer of the original editorial.
UPDATE NO. 1, JAN. 6, 8:22 A.M.: Through an editor's note and separate retraction, the Orange County Register has apologized for a "ridiculous and absurd" assertion in a New Year's editorial regarding the employment status of professional sports cheerleaders. "The inference that cheerleaders should not be granted employee status because they get to "work closely" with rich athletes—an argument both ridiculous and absurd—rightfully raised eyebrows and criticism. The assertion is indefensible," reads the editor's note. Then there's the note that has been added to the online version of the editorial: "The original version of this editorial was edited to retract an argument made. We apologize for the error." Kudos to the cooler heads at the Register for not only owning up to the sexism but to formally sharing those links with the Weekly.
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 5, 6:40 A.M.: California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has a cheer for Orange County Register editorial writer Brian Calle. (NOT TRUE! Please read Update No. 2.)
"Give me a D!"
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"Give me an O!"
"Give me a U!"
"Give me a C!"
"Give me an H!"
"Give me an E!"
"What does that spell?"
Let's go to the replay booth. As the anti-government Register does the first day of every year, the paper published an editorial on new California laws going into effect Jan. 1 it considers whack, including one authored by Gonzalez (D-San Diego). The former Stanford University cheerleader and labor union official's AB202 requires professional sports teams to consider cheerleaders “employees under existing employment laws,” instead of independent contractors.
Gonzalez, accused in the un-bylined editorial of "now cheering for excessive government," discovered Calle was the writer and tweeted to the journo and the Register her displeasure with a highlighted section of the editorial:
Too bad the assemblywoman could not include the full last sentence—"Six of 32 NFL teams don’t even have pro cheerleaders, meaning the jobs could be kicked through the goalposts of life."—because I must confess I don't get that joke at all.
By Monday afternoon, the Register had removed the "fringe benefits" bit.
For an idea why, check out the comments to Gonzalez's tweet that totally knock the pom-poms out of the fringe benefits argument.
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