Katie Way is an editor of Babe.net, which finally gained an iota of notoriety by posting a questionable account of either a bad date with or a sexual assault by Aziz Ansari (depending on your interpretation of the piece). I won’t get into the details, because chances are you’ve read the story and the thinkpieces it inspired by now.
Ashleigh Banfield, an HLN personality, called out the Babe.net subject, Grace, in a scathing open letter:
Of course, there are some issues with Banfield’s arguments, namely that in the original piece, Grace actually described trying to get away from Ansari and telling him verbally to knock it off. That said, when Banfield invited Way to debate her on air, instead of actually attacking Banfield’s arguments, Way decided to slam her appearance instead:
— HLN Public Relations (@HLNPR) January 17, 2018
The full text of Katie’s email is below:
It’s an unequivocal no from me. The way your colleague Ashleigh (?), someone I’m certain no one under the age of 45 has ever heard of, by the way, ripped into my source directly was one of the lowest, most despicable things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Shame on her. Shame on HLN. Ashleigh could have “talked” to me. She could have “talked” to my editor or my publication. But instead, she targeted a 23-year-old woman in one of the most vulnerable moments of her life, someone she’s never f—ing met before, for a little attention. I hope the ratings were worth it! I hope the ~500 RTs on the single news write-up made that burgundy lipstick bad highlights second-wave feminist has-been feel really relevant for a little while. She DISGUSTS me, and I hope when she has more distance from the moment she has enough of a conscience left to feel remotely ashamed — doubt it, but still. Must be nice to piggyback off of the fact that another woman was brave enough to speak up and add another dimension to the societal conversation about sexual assault. Grace wouldn’t know how that feels, because she struck out into this alone, because she’s the bravest person I’ve ever met. I would NEVER go on your network. I would never even watch your network. No woman my age would ever watch your network. I will remember this for the rest of my career — I’m 22 and so far, not too shabby! And I will laugh the day you fold. If you could let Ashleigh know I said this, and that she is no-holds-barred the reason, it’d be a real treat for me.
Katie Way is proving that she’s 22. The staffers at Babe.net pride themselves on all being 25 or under, which is stupid. Ageism is, by far, the dumbest “ism,” because if you’re a white racist, chances are you’ll never be black. If you’re a male sexist, chances are you’ll never become a woman. But if you’re a 22-year-old ageist, you’re also an idiot, because someday you’ll be 45 or 50 — if you’re lucky. Journalism is a small world, and it’s a competitive world. Good luck getting hired anywhere other than Babe.net, Katie. Here’s hoping you eventually age out of both your exceedingly narrow demographic and your even narrower worldview.