Daily Universe Opinion & Issues Editor

The DU has been called heretical, wonderful, mundane, imaginative, mind-expanding, racist, mind-expandingly racist, overly conservative, sacrilegious, and a host of other adj., but most would agree that the DU is mostly just a mediocre student paper with (and I think the Student Review is right here) a limited voice.

On occasion, though, the DU runs one of those awful pieces that warrant a firing, and today was one such occasion. The lead Issues & Opinions Editor Allie McCoy has never been very good; she has in fact been consistently and categorically bad.  It is just that today she was exceptionally bad. She is a bad writer, a poor thinker, and a dreadful columnist. And we students just have to take it, because there really is no way to get heard, at least through the DU. They give us a little space at the bottom in which we can write articles but limit us to 250 words. 250 words! There isn’t any combination of 250 words in the English language to portray the horridness of this piece.

One need not be very familiar with Allie McCoy to know the type (now so prevalent at BYU)—pretty (okay, down-right gorgeous), wealthy, married, etc., and a wonderful sense of fashion to top it all off. But the Issues & Ideas Editor? As in, the Issues & Ideas Editor? The head honcha?

Some will inevitably claim that McCoy had no chance from the beginning—that with a face like that the only thing one could ever be able to do a decent job at would be in the modeling world.[1] Probably warranted, but beside the point, which is this: What is this lady doing at the DU?

The piece that spawned this reaction happened because McCoy ventured out of her comfort zone—writing trite and forgettable phrases—to write about something of substance: the Occupy Wall Street movement. Or rather, Fox News’s version of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.[2] McCoy: “I admit, sometimes, [sic] all anyone needs is a friendly hand and a little boost and they’ll be on their way to success and prosperity.” This makes Gretcha Carlson look like she has half a brain and raises the question of whether or not Ms. McCoy has actually ever worked with any type of humanitarian organization.

McCoy undoubtedly thinks of her prose as crisp and always tries to throw a zinger (does anybody still use that word?) in at the end. For example, after an averagely awful piece on the football team, she writes:

“That’s just how it works, we work together to make each other better.”

The awfulness here extends beyond just being a poorly written sentence.[3] This sentence hurts. And it makes me feel sorry for the poor sap who thinks her work is good enough to keep her on at the DU. She closed her epically putrid piece today by writing this:

“We’d remember what it means to work, what it means to truly earn the things we have. Maybe we won’t have as much. Maybe it will take us longer to get the flashy car or the big house.

But when we do, we’ll have earned it.

It will be ours.”

This is so dumb it practically drools.[4] It is dumb because she had just quoted Elder Oaks regarding greed showing its face in the “assertion of entitlement”; because the bottom of the page has a quote from Elder Maxwell about there being no place in society today for a sense of entitlement; because it displays a stunning ignorance of Church history and of scripture; [5] and because it reeks of Ayn Rand like devil-spew. One must presume that the “assertion of entitlement” that Elder Oaks mentioned was too big a term for McCoy to wrap her mind around and that she doesn’t really much care for either history or canonized works.

It is entirely likely that Allie McCoy will one day have her flashy car and big house and that I will not (which, incidentally, is fine with me: there is more to college education than the pursuit of property). But it will not be because she has earned it or even because she has deserved it. Perhaps somewhere in the Brimhall sits some relation to McCoy that is the sole reason for her continued employment there: if so it is McCoy who, ironically, is getting something through no merits of her own. Until she moves on, the DU will continue to be a mediocre paper with occasionally horrible pieces written by this misguided soul.

[1] To be fair to the modeling world, though, there is this statement from a recent New Republic post about modeling as a career: “You need to show ambition, clearly, while never exuding unbecoming eagerness. For the right kind of exposure, you may have to work for free—even go into debt. You need to be calculating with your acquaintances, but avoid close connections with possible competitors. Above all, you need to stay beholden to the unlikely dream of success and the rare moments of magic, building calluses and erecting blinders to the unpleasant and grueling realities.” Sounds like a pretty cut-throat world. The point, though, is that brains are not an integral part of whatever these sick people do.

[2] Now, I realize that there are a lot of bums that belong to this movement and its goals aren’t very clear and blah blah blah. But really—what is to like about the way Wall Street screwed the financial world, lied about it, and got off scot-free because they lobbied the current politicians? Occupy WS may not be the most noble movement in history, but doesn’t something about WS just stink?

[3] I realize that no one likes a snoot (and I do not consider myself to be one), but the DU is a newspaper and McCoy is a (professed) journalist.

[4] I stole this phrase from the late David Foster Wallace because it made me laugh. That is, the phrase made me laugh, not the stealing of it.

[5] See, for example, D&C 49:20. “But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.”


2 thoughts on “Daily Universe Opinion & Issues Editor

  1. Yeah–I guess Hacker says that if the clauses are closely related (which I think they are here) they may be linked with a semicolon. It is optional, but I still think it would be much better with a semicolon, especially considering the two uses of “work(s).”

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