Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Manly Women and Girly Men

“If a woman possesses manly virtues one should run away from her; and if she does not possess them she runs away from herself.” – Nietzsche

Have you noticed how many Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) types are showing up on the editorial pages and network chat shows these days? You can’t miss the girls; Nina Totenberg, Diane Rehm, Gwen Ifill, and Eleanor Clift. (Yes, Eleanor made her bones as a public pundit!) Most of them look, and sound, like refugees from a John Waters makeover in Baltimore - hair helmets and all.

Top dollar female commercial network anchors and correspondents, on the other hand, usually look and squeak like pole dancers (think Kelly or Norah O’Donnell); yet, when the need is for an acid tongue; the public bullpens at CPB or BBC are where the go-to gals hang out.

Katty Kay missed the network glam team by a decade or three, but she kept her stage name anyway. Kay is one of those unique triple-dippers; hands in two public pockets - and one shapely ankle dipped in commerce. She now sits to the left of ABC’s Chris Mathews on Sunday morning - should there be any lingering doubts about Ms. Kay’s politics. Truth is, you can not have a news panel or reality (pardon any redundancy) show in America today unless your team includes at least one bitchy or condescending representative of the British Commonwealth. Take a bow Simon!

Most of the public broadcasting chaps, by the same token, seem to look like Andrea Mitchell or Katie Couric. The look may be pant’s suit ambiguous, thanks to Hilary, but there’s nothing vague about fey politics; all the boys hail from left field.

Even token conservatives like Paul Gigot are well left of center. A token is any nominal conservative who has accepted a Pulitzer or pretends to provide the “balance” on a loaded panel. The men of CPB seem to take their cues from progressive stalwarts like Bill Moyers or Daniel Schorr. Moyers, you may recall, had retired, but CPB brought him back to cover the Obama Awakening.

Girly men were all over the fish wrap last month. First, there was the study suggesting that healthy (as in plump?) women prefer effeminate men. The study was mute on the preferences of skinny sensitive men; but, chubby chasing was not excluded. Christina Romer and Elena Kagan might need Secret Service protection.

The ‘girlie man’ study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, also concluded that countries with “poor hygiene” were more likely to tolerate polygamy. What happens when the natives in Arabia, South Asia, and Utah get this bulletin?

And then we saw Rupert Murdoch outing Arthur Sulzberger, the flamboyant editor of the New York Times, as a “poofter” on the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Can you say Manhattan cat fight? What’s next; limp noodles at fifty paces?

Ever anxious to stay with the big boys, Fred Hiatt, editor at the Washington Post has been featuring the soft side of Agnotology in the wake of the Obamacare vote. Take Matt Miller’s piece, “The Republican Crack Up,” on 31 March. Now if you knew ahead of time that Mathew had a sinecure at a “progressive” think tank (Center for American Progress), a microphone at National Public Radio, and a column at the Post – you probably wouldn’t read the article, because it would be too predictable.

Nonetheless, his argument has four premises; the Republicans “lost big” (sic) on the healthcare issue, the “tax issue” is dead, Mitt Romney will be hoisted on the “Massachusetts” health care petard, and Obamacare brings “security that families crave”. Any, or all of these, sound like they might be White House talking points?

Miller’s soft spin ignores more than a few facts. To date, all the political losses have been Democrat; and a bi-partisan majority has consistently opposed Obamacare and the inevitable higher taxes. And who anointed Mitt Romney as the Republican heir apparent? And who argues that a particular state, especially uber liberal Massachusetts, is representative of America on any issue?

Miller also ignores the risky synergy of debt, deficits, recession, unemployment, “higher taxes,” and all of the uncertainties associated with yet another major federal program. Sanity is now the major domestic concern; “security” left the tent when another entitlements circus came to town. Withal, Miller puts words in the mouths of imaginary enemies and then proceeds to argue with himself as if no one will notice him begging (or buggering) the question.

Such reasoning might be dismissed as the untidy musings of a giddy progressive, but it seems that the author is a Brown University product. Indeed, a few clicks of the browser reveal that Mathew Miller has a web site devoted to himself. Ut ameris, amabilis esto!

Like their role models at BBC, American public radio and television newsrooms have long been an employer of first resort for “progressive” polemicists like Miller. Ironically, their commercial colleagues, already awash in partisan muck, are trying to save themselves by throwing a lifeline to the Left. Featuring more liberals, to save a sinking “mainstream,” is a little like bailing water into the boat.

Maybe it’s something in the water or maybe just a politically correct variant of narcissism, but the Left in America has become loopier and loopier over time. Ambiguity and hysteria appear to emanate from some fundamental confusion. Admission to the progressive club today seems to be predicated on some bizarre affirmative action criteria; a 25% set aside for women who want to be men, a 25 % set aside for men who want to be women and a 50% reserve for those who might not make either team.


The author is a recovering urban progressive who left the Bronx at an early age to get a job and become an adult. He also blogs at G. Murphy Donovan

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About Me

The author is a native of the Bronx, a transplant to DC. He is a Vietnam veteran and former USAF Intelligence officer with tours at all of the major 3 button Intelligence agencies. He is a graduate of the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. School and Cardinal Hayes HS in NYC. He also has several degrees from less illustrious institutions. Check Six writes primarily at G. Murphy Donovan and Agnotology in Journalism. His work has appeared in various political, national security, and Intelligence journals.