With recent slight, time for Star Tribune’s C.J. to go embarrass another city

Gossip columns have no use in this day and age.

On Tuesday, Jana Shortal — host of KARE 11’s show “Breaking the News” — ran a segment that delved into the gruesome, heartbreaking death of the long-missing, abducted child Jacob Wetterling.

In the segment, Shortal was wearing a gray blazer, polka dot shirt and a pair of jeans that have now flirted with infamy.

What she was wearing would not have mattered had notorious Star Tribune gossip columnist C.J. not deigned to highlight what she believed was an unsuitable outfit.

“… the skinny jeans did not work. I was among a number of media types who found them inappropriate and, given the gravity of the day’s subject, downright jarring,” C.J. wrote in the since-deleted column.

Jarring to whom? We guess only to those who expect women to fit a certain mold in order to be successful — a belief which is outstandingly archaic.

This isn’t the first time Shortal has faced ridiculous adversity in her choice of attire.

In fact, she published an Op-Ed piece in the Star Tribune itself earlier this year entitled, “I’m a TV newswoman, and no thanks on the lady uniform.”

In it Shortal details the years of personal and professional strife she has dealt with — all stemming from others dictating how she should present herself on TV and in life. Yet the column reads as celebratory because Shortal explains that starting “Breaking the News” allowed her to finally present herself in the way she prefers.

It leads us to wonder, does C.J. read the paper she writes for?

Criticizing the way people present themselves and dictating whether or not a person’s wardrobe passes moral muster has never, and will never be, culturally-productive.

C.J.’s column enforces a cruel, cyclic trend of telling women how they must look and act; the Star Tribune’s decision to publish it reveals that, even in 2016, some media organizations find the denigration of women permissible.

The Star Tribune removed the column, and even the cached version was taken down, but ironically, the City Pages — which is owned by the Star Tribune — reprinted it in full. The Star Tribune also issued an apology shortly after, which expressed sincere regret over publishing C.J.’s column.

C.J. also issued her own apology, a paltry four lines, where she apologized for hurting Shortal’s feelings and said she understands the perspective of those upset by her words.

That is not the only thing she must apologize for.

C.J.’s column has been criticized by a number of national news outlets, including Jezebel, The Washington Times and the Independent.

Her misguided, crass and unforgivable musings have embarrassed this city — one that often touts itself as a community of inclusivity and respect.

Shortal herself has suggested that C.J. should have her column disbanded. But we urge the Twin Cities’ newspaper of record to go further.

What really is the use of a gossip columnist anymore? In this day and age, it’s abominable to see blithely-uninformed, sexist columns sanctioned by media outlets in the first place.

It is time that the Star Tribune washes their hands of C.J, and we hope that they will exercise more dexterity when publishing columns in the future — we have no more room to peddle hatred.