Les Punk Republicans!

Like a hardcore band saving their best song for the encore, the punk Republicans have returned with a vengeance. L’Agence France-Presse (AFP) released a story this morning (in English — we’re not that comprehensive) that reprised the New York Times’ not-so-stunning revelation last week that guys with tattoos and spiky hair have the capacity for an occasional original thought.

Here’s the AFP lede:

They have spikey [sic] hair and chains and their hero is President George W. Bush. Is something wrong in the anarchical world of American punk rock?

Mon dieu, Francois, dejá vu all over again.

The AFP story focuses — as did the Times story of March 21 — on the increasingly famous 22-year-old Nick Rizzuto, founder of conservativepunk.com, as well as GOPunk.com’s Drew Heidgerken.

The AFP story, in fact, is just one step short of plagiarism, a clumsy rewrite of the Times piece, clearly the work of someone who read the latter and had a couple hours to craft an “original” piece of work.

We usually don’t pick on press agencies halfway around the world, but in the age of the Internet they might as well be right next door.

So, come on, guys, show a little latitude. When we originally invoked the moniker “Punk Republican Stories” (hereinafter designated as PRS), we hoped the term would come to refer to any piece that spotlights a group of people who don’t fit into the broad generalizations and hackneyed stereotypes that the media too often rely upon. We noted then that the occasional PRS story, exasperating as it may be in its “Gee Whiz!” quality, at least does serve as a sort of antidote to larger clichés, and story-hungry editors know this. So in the coming months, we confidentially predict a steady spate of PRS stories - featuring perhaps yoga-practicing NRA members, or Goths who love their children.

We just didn’t think we’d see any more “Punk Republican Stories” about … well, about Punk Republicans.

Brian Montopoli

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Brian Montopoli is a writer at CJR Daily.