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Screen shot from the offensive Daily Caller listicle.

Seriously not

Conservative website’s “Syria-sly hot” listicle ignites outrage

By WITW Staff on November 19, 2015

The Daily Caller, a conservative website run by Tucker Carlson, published an article on Wednesday titled “13 Syrians We’d Take Immediately” that drew nearly instant backlash and calls for its removal. The article comes amid a fierce debate following the Paris attacks about whether the U.S. should pause or altogether discontinue its plan to accept Syrian refugees. Some 31 governors of U.S. states have declared that their states would not admit entry to refugees from Syria, which was the apparent news peg for The Daily Caller’s listicle. The piece, which features Instagram photos of women who appear to be from Syria, is dripping with xenophobia and sexism — especially surprising given that it carries the byline of a woman: Kaitlan Collins, the entertainment editor for the site.

As Mediaite noted, the aggregation of the photos shown in the piece was sloppy as it’s unclear whether the women seen in the Instagram photos are actually refugees — or even from Syria, for that matter. Indeed, the images appear to have now been removed from the photo sharing site. Nevertheless, the article generated a cascade of criticism on Twitter, with some expressing disgust that the article was published. One woman tweeted directly at Collins, saying, “your internalized misogyny and sexism is showing.”

As for Collins, she appeared to stand by the article. Brendan James, a reporter from the International Business Times, tweeted at her and wondered how she felt about the piece. Her response: “Well considering I wrote it…” James asked whether she pitched the story idea, and Collins didn’t respond. Collins didn’t respond to a request for comment from Women in the World. Click here to take a look at the flurry of criticism directed toward Collins on Twitter.

Writing for The Establishment, media critic Jennifer Pozner called the article “grotesque” and explored what amounts to a history of wanton sexism and misogyny in the name of clickbait at The Daily Caller.

“It’s not like we can expect high-level discourse from a right wing news site that ran a free gun giveaway contest for subscribers as a lead-up to the 2012 election, reported on Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby as a “sexy” “smoldering” “smokeshow” with “‘crazy girl’ eyes” during the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray,” Pozner wrote. “This kind of a stunt is almost expected from a site whose founder, Carlson, unapologetically promised copious “semi-SFW” sexed-up slideshows of women because, ‘We care about traffic.'”

Collins, perhaps subtly acknowledging the controversy over the listicle, appeared to focus on a more positive reaction to her work. “At least I got a marriage proposal out of this,” she posted on Twitter.

Read the full story at Mediaite.