The dear folks at the Toronto Star penned a little article titled, “Human Rights Lawyer Amal Alamuddin Stands Tall Without George Clooney.” And we must say – we too, are so proud of Amal. What a big girl! Going to work all by herself, without her actor husband around to hold her hand, even! It’s very impressive.
The fact that Amal Alamuddin Clooney has too often had her accomplishments ignored by the media in favor of a focus on her marriage to a celebrity has become a point of frequent criticism, with some accusations of overt sexism thrown in, and, most recently, it’s been the butt of a Golden Globes joke. The Toronto Star has apparently missed or ignored all of this and it shows in its coverage of the human rights lawyer’s latest case.
While the Toronto Star’s story, written by Tanya Talaga, does cover the important points of the story – a case in which Alamuddin Clooney is representing Armenia in the appeal of a Turkish politician convicted of denying the Armenian genocide, it would be easy to be confused as to what the story is about when it opens with a line like “If you thought Amal Alamuddin Clooney had given up the law in order to become a celebrity wife, think again.” The Star’s brief mention that Amal Alamuddin Clooney should be seen as more than George Clooney’s wife is buried deep in a story that puts the human rights lawyer’s marriage at the forefront in it’s headline and lede.
That part of the story, in which Alamuddin Clooney’s former professor and current colleague criticizes the media attention heaped on her personal life, and the fact that her marriage is otherwise only briefly mentioned as a biographical detail at the end of the story, only works to highlight the sensationalized nature of the first few paragraphs of the story.
Luv her style tho
The overall effect is one that reeks of desperation for page-views by the Star’s editors – especially considering the juxtaposition of the headline (“Human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin stands tall without George Clooney”) against the line that the story’s author chose to use on Twitter to promote it (“Human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin takes on issue of hate speech, Armenian genocide at European court”).
— Tanya Talaga (@TanyaTalaga) January 29, 2015
If this is the case, then someone should tell the Star’s editors to trust their writers and save themselves some future embarrassment.
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