The Detroit Free Press generated little fanfare recently when features reporter Georgea Kovanis published a Celebrity Cleavage Survey to accompany last week's advance of fashion at the Grammy's, which declared "Cleavage Rules!"
In its continued bizarre deep-dive into the allure of breasts, the Freep asked readers to chime in on celebrities' cleavage, asking: "Who wears it well and who doesn't?" Thousands across metro Detroit settled the score on Helen Mirren, with 2,913 people -- 57 percent (!) -- declaring the 68-year-old has "good cleavage."
Huffington Post Detroit followed with some of the backlash the paper seemingly did not anticipate:
Those who bothered to vote were most impressed with Sofia Vergara (3,200 "good" votes) and least with Lena Dunham (2,514 "bad" votes), but plenty of readers had stronger opinions about the paper's judgement.
"Detroit Free Press, you've sunk to a new low in journalism. And there are a lot of lows to compare with," reader Marla Cone commented on the article. "Please keep your comments smart and civil. Unlike, of course, the poll itself," said Stephen Whitty. "This paper has finally jumped the shark," wrote Benny Leibhan.
The Freep's managing editors sent along a statement to HuffPo, saying the "language of the poll lost the context of the column" -- the context being that some celebrities attending the Grammy's have breasts.
Oddly, Kovanis found someone who unabashedly declared herself a "breast expert" for comment:
“Breasts are very magical,” says Elisabeth Dale, a breast expert who writes the blog called The Breast Life (www.thebreastlife.com), dedicated to the subject. “They have the power to sustain life. They’re a huge part of a woman’s own sexuality."
Times are tough for the industry, yeah. But perhaps it'd be best to avoid the cleavage beat for now, Freep. Your competitors down the hall learned this sort of thing doesn't bode well with the public last year.
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