I’ll admit that I’m one of those people who loves reading the Weddings/Celebration section of the New York Times, and now the Washington Post. It’s not that I’m a hopeless romantic, but I love the sociology and anthropology of whose weddings are worthy of a “news” story. For instance, it appears that glasses are back in style for men, but not women. Don’t believe me, check out this week’s NYT wedding pics.
The WP’s OnLove section began in June, with the wedding of FOB (Friend of Barack) Melody Barnes to Marland Buckner Jr. It was a bad start for the section, however, since the NYT featured the exact same wedding on the same day. Great minds–or a great publicist–think alike. Or both papers have similar criteria for a story.
So, I’ve been waiting for the new WP section to feature a same-sex couple and it finally happened this weekend with the announcement of the wedding of Martha Ertman and Karen Lash. When I read the lede, however, I suddenly had a sense of deja vu. The reason: they were featured last week in the NYT.
It’s hard to know what this means. Did the WP know that Ertman/Lash were featured in the NYT the week before? Are they they only same-sex couple to try to get coverage of their wedding? And what are the criteria for getting coverage?
My amateur anthropology evaluation shows that same-sex couples in the NYT are different from opposite-sex couples, although they do tend to have a particular trend. Fewer financial analysts and more non-profit administrators and activists. Slightly fewer lawyers at white-shoe law firms, but similar numbers of Ivy League degrees. More Unitarian ministers, but fewer mixed-race or non-white couples.
In the dog days of summer, it’s interesting to speculate what future WP same-sex wedding stories will look like. Will they continue to mirror the NYT criteria? Will there be more Republicans and conservatives? Will there be a better racial mix?