You’re thinking Paula Deen didn’t do it. She got a raw deal on her alleged use of the “N Word.” I know because Paul Wilson as much as told me that last week. After all, Deen says she only uttered the word at knifepoint a couple decades back.
And black people get away with using – not just that – but the word “cracker” and all sorts of pejorative terms for whites. Color it, the White Man’s Burden, a double standard that won’t quit.
But hold it right there, gang.
Because the National Enquirer has Deen’s critic’s backs.
That’s right, the National Enquirer – and don’t take that the wrong way.
I’ve subscribed to the Enquirer for years owing to my need to keep my toe in the door for national celebrity news and gossip, because of my job at the Kansas City Star. And in that time I’ve come to recognize the vast differences between the Enquirer and the rest of the so-called gossip zines and tabloids on the market in this country.
In short, the Enquirer may play a bit loose on some stories, but when the rubber meets the road on the important news – O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, Johnny Depp – nobody else in this country comes close.
Stargazing being among the worst, only because zero reporting or fact checking goes into most of the material, with the object of the game being to allow the copy editor de jour or whomever to just add snarky commentary. I don’t recall seeing any corrections there ever, although I know from my time at the newspaper they’ve had some doozy mistakes.
Now on to Paula Deen…
The headline last week: “Paula Deen Used Vile Gay Slurs! Claims Ex-Employee”
Notice how the headline is attributed. Believe it or not, the Enquirer takes its reporting seriously. They’ve been sued and lost in the past and they take pride in the many scoops they’ve continued to report in recent years. Stories that resulted in followup stories in the mainstream media like the New York Times and People Magazine…oh and Stargazing.
“All hell has broken loose in Paula Deen’s kitchen since The Enquirer revealed that she admitted using the N-word in a recent court deposition,” the story begins.
“The Enquirer was the first to reveal the bombshell scandal, which stemmed from a discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Lisa Jackson, a former general manager at Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, which Paula co-owns with her husband Earl Bubba Hiers in Savannah, Georgia.
“Now we have the firsthand account from ANOTHER former employee, Renee Mincey McDonald, who claims that the black staff members at Paula’s restaurant, the famous Lady & Sons, “were treated like animals.”
McDonald worked there as a waitress between 1998 and 2003 and passed a polygraph test about allegations in a previous Enquirer story about unsanitary conditions at the eatery.
Her latest claim:
That Deen did indeed use the N-word as recently as 10 years ago and would also refer to homosexuals as fags.
“Nigger was Paula’s favorite word – she used it all the time,” McDonald says. “I’ve heard Paula specifically say she ‘did not want any niggers working in front of the house as hostesses, waiters or bussers.'”
And multiple Deen employees have come forward since the scandal broke to claim she routinely discriminated against black workers with one Deen family member reportedly referring to a black cook as “my little monkey.”
A Deen spokesperson denied that she used either term.