Media commentators often omit one "salient" fact about tech reporter Sarah Lacy: She's "smoking" hot! So screams a post headlined "Smoking Sarah Lacy" over at Valleywag, the gossip rag for techies. Not only that, but she's "the hottest reporter in the Valley. No, make that the hottest reporter in the tech world -- ever." Valleywag announced yesterday that online media mogul Nick Denton would be temporarily taking the site's helm and, presumably, writing or supervising the site's unsigned content. The post in question -- tagged "valley foxes," suggesting a potential series -- is not exactly the kind of turnaround you'd expect after the revelation yesterday that the blog would henceforth be run under the new mantra "More money, a little less sex."
But in fairness, the Lacy item may fall under the category of "sexism" rather than "sex." At times the post seems like an insider joke-cum-breathless droolfest: "Lacy is smoking, so smoking that she'd even be considered smoking in one of those cities where models and actresses congregate." But it's the elbow-nudging, boys-club ragging that's actually irksome: "Not saying [her looks are] the reason for her success ... But, in maintaining access to young entpreneurs [sic] ... Lacy's looks don't hurt." Better still: "She's also flirtatious, especially after a drink or two."
We've said it before -- when another female tech writer, Annalee Newitz, found her looks, rather than her work, the focus of fiery debate -- and we'll say it again: These brawls go best when lady nerds and other free thinkers enter the fray and argue about whether a professional woman's hotness quotient merits mention. It's nice to see some thoughtful folks speaking up in the Valleywag comments, where one poster called the Lacy item "bubblicious and inane."