They are calling us all of the worst words and not just Rush Limbaugh, although that drew all of the ire for some reason. Listen to how Bill Maher talked about Sarah Palin, or the lyrics to that Soulja Boy “Superman” song that plays at many arenas, or just read the comments under one of my columns.
Sexism is the last OK “-ism” left, a fact I was reminded of during the Jeremy Lin scandal. The media was inflamed about slurs used against Lin — inadvertent and otherwise — leading to really good discussion about why certain words are not OK when talking about certain groups. There was no such dialogue and far less outrage when Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke — a Georgetown law student who favored insurance coverage for contraceptives — a “slut.”
It was not about what was said but rather who said it, less an explanation of why slut is such a powerful weapon against women and more of an attack on Rush. The whole thing felt disingenuous.
What everybody ripping Rush must ask themselves is: Why do we object to the word, yet reward the behavior?
This latest Tiger development reveals the hypocrisy. He is getting excoriated for cheating on Elin Woods, and his helpers are profiting from it.
Do not bother arguing that the women were not married. It is still adultery if you are sleeping with, or infringing on, the marriage of another. Not that I believe their extracurricular sex is my business; it is the sense of entitlement to one’s 15 minutes of fame as a result and the suspicion that most of these women are trolling for this kind of attention that offend me. That this is their postgraduate plan.
It is hard to argue when sleeping with an athlete brings Vanity Fair coverage and reality-show opportunities and representation from Gloria Allred and big, big paydays. A year ago, Vanity Fair had a long article on Tiger’s “caddies,” and his self-proclaimed ninth mistress’ first words upon being interviewed were, “Is Vanity Fair going to put me on the cover?”
It’s not the overall message that I have a problem with; it’s some of the assumptions.
First, although it might have been hard to see from within the sports media bubble, from where I sit Rush’s comments actually received more attention than the Jeremy Lin “chink in the armor” brouhaha. What’s amazing is that that offhand comment drew the firing of the headline writer, Brian Williams at NBC is able to issue a ‘mistakes were made’ apology for the race-baiting audio editing that was used to smear George Zimmerman as a racist in the Trayvon Martin coverage, and that no heads have rolled yet. This is the same Brian Williams who defended his journalistic craft in the terms regurgitated by Iowahawk:
“Every word I write, before it goes on air, goes through all kinds of traps and filters” – Brian Williams, NBC News
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) April 5, 2012
Apparently, this was a trap, Admiral Akbar.
As for Fluke, and as I’ve pointed out several times here, to no avail, she’s still being represented as a 24-year-old co-ed in a Dana Milbank piece penned for the Washington Post back in February, with no attempt by the paper to issue a correction.
The 24-year-old Fluke spoke with poise as she described a friend at Georgetown who was taking birth-control pills to control ovarian cysts but had to stop because the cost was too high. “She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary as a result,” Fluke said. “She’s been experiencing night sweats, weight gain and other symptoms of early menopause.”
Sandra was blissfully unaware that she could go to the Target 3 miles away from campus and get a month’s supply of the pill for $9, because the narrative must be served, and because it sounds so much more oppressive to have to fork out $3k during law school than $360. And remember, she was introduced as an expert, when her expertise didn’t extend actually to investigating the matter that she testified about. As Issa points out, the reason that she wasn’t called on his committee was that they had been offered 2 witnesses, only one of whom would testify, and the Democrats didn’t meet the deadline, which would have offered staff enough time to verify the credentials of the witness, so they pencilled in the other one, who was, at least, someone notable in the field. So the business about there not being any women at the hearing was a manufactured debacle.
Now, Time Magazine is offering Fluke up for polling in their Hundred Most Influential Americans, where people are voting down Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker. Because . . . objectivity.
There are a lot of acceptable ‘-isms’ left on the table, including anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism, anti-capitalism and anti-constitutionalism, not among the least of which is anti-masculinism. I hope I am not guilty of anti-Jen Floyd Engelism.
More irony from Paper Treiger, from whom I stole the graphic.
UPDATE: More clown stampeding at MSNBC.