San Francisco Student Newspaper Defends ‘Sexist’ Concert Review

Furor over Best Coast critique prompts letter from the editors.

In this social media age, all hell can break loose very quickly. And so it was that just a day after University of San Francisco student newspaper the Foghorn posted a critical review of a recent performance at The Fillmore by L.A. rock duo Best Coast, the publication was sharing a Letter From the Editors Friday.

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The main problem Best Coast and its fans have with the “Mediocre at Best” write-up is that staff writer David L. Garcia chose to single out the “incredible outfit” worn by Bethany Cosentino. From the letter:

We at the Foghorn would like to speak to those who took offense to the Best Coast concert review recently published in print and on our website. Best Coast and their many fans are entitled to their reactions. We are glad to see that they read the piece, and that they felt comfortable sharing their opinions about it. Journalism is not a one-way street, and the Foghorn appreciates hearing any feedback or difference of opinion that any of our readers may have.

That said, we are not sorry for publishing it. The review was simply a representation of what our critic felt was important to the audience that attended the show. It is unfortunate that it was misunderstood as an act of sexism.

The letter’s signatories—Garcia, Scene editor Nichole Rosanova and Foghorn editor in chief Nureen  Khadr—are willing in hindsight to admit that a portion of the review critical of the absence of any Cosentino smiling during the Sept. 23 performance is immaterial and inappropriate. But otherwise, they dispute the accusations of sexism.

As does Death and Taxes staff writer Jamie Peck. In the midst of all the hate being heaped on Garcia and the Foghorn Friday, she wrote:

Bethany Cosentino, I call bullshit.

As a woman who’s encountered my own fair share of sexism, I understand that people are sensitive to anything that looks like someone reducing a female performer to her appearance and sex appeal. It’s especially irksome in the traditionally male-dominated and casually sexist field of music criticism. But this is not that…