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July 29, 2007

Comments

"This is the Ombudsman mind you."

I do not think that word means what you think it means. Not anymore, anyway.


Shorter Deborah Howell: "The readers demanded that we turn ourselves into the National Enquirer, and we obliged them."

"but they also want to know who these people are"

And what better way to find out who someone really is than to analyze how they dress?

I guess she never stopped to think that perhaps the reason the story was so popular had something to do with the collective "WTF?" reaction around the blogosphere that day, and that lots of people clicked on it because they had to see it for themselves. Because that would have been the first thing I'd have assumed.

Incertus beat me to the punch. I'll bet the popularity also had something to do with the various bloggers who said WTF and linked to the piece. I mean: I did, and my intention was really, really not to make Deborah Howell think I liked it.

Yow. "It was the most viewed story, so it must have been worthwhile" may be even stupider than the standard "I got criticism from both sides, so I must have been right" line.

I must admit I followed the link... because I wanted to see a picture of the cleavage that prompted a headline.

It is in no way a news story.

For those who missed it in the other thread, to get the most out of the cleavage issue, you need to read Lisa Schiffren on the Corner (also see her 2003 contribution to fashion journalism).

It was the most viewed story, so it must have been worthwhile" may be even stupider than the standard "I got criticism from both sides, so I must have been right.

If the WaPo decides to go for the twofer, I think porn would do it.

The Poor Man puts Doug H.'s point as well as it can be put:

Inquiring minds want to know.

publius: "Other than the obvious ridiculousness, the fact that voters generally want to know personal details about candidates has absolutely nothing to do with the appropriateness of this specific story..."

Appropriateness? Appropriateness? Gimme a break. You sound like one of those prissy guardians of morality on the Right who oppose sex education in public schools, for the exact same reasons you stated: because they find it contextually inappropriate.

Your assumption, like theirs, seems to be that what you find suitable should be the norm. That's the same elitist rationale proposed by the proponents of the film censorship standards foisted on the movie industry in the 1930s Hays Code, to prevent improper "vulgar and suggestive" images from public view, especially those referencing female body parts that would result in "offensive sex suggestiveness." In other words, they didn't want to let audiences see Mae West wiggle her curves; you take it one step further -- you don't even want to allow a fashion editor to mention Hillary's breasts.

The fact that you cavalierly dismiss the assertion that the story was the most viewed on the web site that day as irrelevant is also smugly elitist, annoyingly so. I was one of the viewers who clicked on the story that day (hilzoy provided the link) and I thought it was informative. I was glad to hear Hillary was showing some cleavage. Ample-sized breasts are a necessary prerequisite for female politicians who want to achieve high office (the necessary equivalent for men is a full head of hair; there hasn't been a bald US president elected since Eisenhower). A quick survey of female world leaders bears this out. Of the twelve now in office, eleven have at least a B-cup measurement (eyeball estimates from google image searches):

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Philippines;
Chancellor Angela Merkel,Germany;
Prime Minister Helen Clark, New Zealand;
President Mary McAlese, Ireland;
President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Latvia;
President Tarja Halonen, Finland;
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, Bangladesh;
Prime Minister Luisa Diogo,Mozambique;
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia;
President Michelle Bachelet, Chile;
and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica (my candidate for a Playboy centerfold).

The exception to the rule, and the only A-cup woman in the group seems to be President Micheline Calmy-Rey, Switzerland, but she's among the most stylish of dressers, and has the most pixyish smile with teeth that would qualify her for toothpaste commercials.

Bottom line, you, and Ann Lewis, and all the other prudish heirs to Joe Breen and Jerry Falwall, and the other self-appointed arbiters of propriety need to chill out. Robin Givhan's cleavage story was more honest, pertinent, interesting, relevant to the times we live in, and entertaining then 90 percent of the crap you read in the major papers, and certainly with a lot less sanctimonious self-aggrandizement that oozes out at you on the blogs every day.

"Of the twelve now in office, eleven have at least a B-cup measurement (eyeball estimates from google image searches) [em. added]"

Thanks for making this icky story ickier.

If page views are the ultimate arbiter of quality and appropriateness, and if any criticism of editorial judgments is elitist censorship, then clearly all news sites should convert to porn sites immediately.

"Thanks for making this icky story ickier"

Ickier?

I bet you think Bart Simpson is a bad boy, and in your heart of hearts you're glad you're not at all like him.

Does Deborah Howell have a nice tight vagina or is so used and loose that it flops around in the wind?

Does Jay Jerome really have a tiny penis?

Inquiring minds want to know, "but do we want to read the column about her" vagina or his penis? Apparently, if Deborah Howell and Jay Jerome [above] is to be believed.

It's good to know Deborah Howell agrees with Jay Jerome, a story on her vaginal or his penis dimensions would be good material because it is sure to be "the most viewed story on the Web site all day." and thus appropriate material for WAPO.

I apologize to anyone I might offend in the process of mocking Deborah Howell and Jay Jerome, she and he thinks this type of personal detail is front page reading material, I do not, if WAPO had any level integrity [it does not] she would have been fired on the spot for uttering the lines:

"But do we want to read the column about her cleavage? Yes indeed."

Men and woman are dying in a war of aggression, our country's constitution is being subverted and all Deborah Howell can think to print is personal details that have no place in a political discussion.

Jay Jerome, if you are "being entertained" by these bread and circus shows, that's fine, it's their for you, go read the National Enquirer.

Ms. Howell has long outlived her usefulness as an Ombudsperson; she has reduced it to an exercise in changing Fred Hiatt's diapers.

The questions Ms. Howell purportedly wants answers to are not the story. By asking them, she merely furthers the partisan slam intended by the original column. Had Ms. Howell been the least bit interested in answers - rather than in just repeating partisan slurs - she would have sought out pictures or independent memories of the purportedly suspect attire. She did not do those things, which would have been necessary to support or refute the absurdity of the underlying column. She merely furthered its purposes.

More importantly, unless Mrs. Clinton showed up in a halter top and ten pounds of Tammy Faye make-up - which would suggest not appallingly bad taste or the heat of a Metro DC summer, but a temporary personality disorder (that would have been a story) - there's no story there. No more than anyone really cares what, if anything, George Bush hides under his outsized Shakespearean codpiece.

The lede is not Mrs. Clinton's attire, but that this column appeared at all in a major newspaper. As usual, Ms. Howell refuses to cover that story; she just covers Fred Hiatt's ass.

Ms. Howell has long outlived her usefulness as an Ombudsperson; she has reduced it to an exercise in changing Fred Hiatt's diapers.

The questions Ms. Howell purportedly wants answers to are not the story. By asking them, she merely furthers the partisan slam intended by the original column. Had Ms. Howell been the least bit interested in answers - rather than in just repeating partisan slurs - she would have sought out pictures or independent memories of the purportedly suspect attire. She did not do those things, which would have been necessary to support or refute the absurdity of the underlying column. She merely furthered its purposes.

More importantly, unless Mrs. Clinton showed up in a halter top and ten pounds of Tammy Faye make-up - which would suggest not appallingly bad taste or the heat of a Metro DC summer, but a temporary personality disorder (that would have been a story) - there's no story there. No more than anyone really cares what, if anything, George Bush hides under his outsized Shakespearean codpiece.

The lede is not Mrs. Clinton's attire, but that this column appeared at all in a major newspaper. As usual, Ms. Howell refuses to cover that story; she just covers Fred Hiatt's ass.

I'm just impressed that Jerome can type so well with one hand. Not sure how marketable a skill that is, but still....impressive.

Now I guess we sit and wait for the inevitable Hot Chicks in Charge Playboy pictorial. I dig the Finnish one who looks like Conan O'Brien.

In using "popularity" as her guide, Ms. Howell must be applying for a job with Mr. Murdoch's soon-to-be new and improved WSJ. Imagine the nakedness that will now appear on its page three: Golf clubs without their bag! The University Club steam room without its towels! the Justice Department without the Gonzo fig leaf! The mind reels.

Business computing systems are plagued by the popularity of internet porn and chain mail jokes, but it doesn't make such things Pulizter-worthy news.

Ms. Howell also protests too much. She attempts to shoehorn the underlying piece into the category of cultural commentary. Even David Brooks couldn't pull that one. It was a sexist rant. The message?:

"Remember, she's a woman. The kind you hate being married to. The reason you had that affair or that you're happy to be gay. You don't want her being president. You don't want her to have the legal authority to tell you to take your feet off the coffee table or to regulate the unlawful extremes of your business."

The Post has so changed since Mrs. Graham's day that it needs a disclaimer on any column that's NOT an editorial. That would leave out all of Mr. Solomon's work, for example, and give Ms. Howell much less to do.

You sound like one of those prissy guardians of morality on the Right who oppose sex education in public schools, for the exact same reasons you stated: because they find it contextually inappropriate.

If you really think that that is why "the Right" opposes sex ed in public schools, you are so far off base that you are playing another sport entirely.

I think we should test Ms. Howell's criteria:

But do we want to read the column about her cleavage? Yes indeed. It was the most viewed story on the Web site all day.

with a chorus of requests to the Washington Post for an article about Ms. Howell's bikini wax experience. Let's get that baby viewed!

JJ - your general position (which i take to be cultural libertarianism) is one i agree with. i just think you're fighting the wrong battle here. this issue has nothing to do with the culture wars.

women running for public office (or in the public eye more generally) have to deal with a lot more shit to deal with than men. not counting the structural issues, gender norms, etc., women get unfairly judged by appearance, etc. far more than men do. sexism is one of those words that tends to shut down rather than further debates, but this is clearly sexist. it's not something any man has to deal with. (for instance, i doubt you've done a visual scan to approximate male leaders' crotch size).

the appropriateness of this article appearing in the post has nothing to do with the culture wars or my alleged "prissyness." that's just a strawman

the bottom line is that it's disrespectful, and disrespectful in a particularly obnoxious sexist way

publius: the bottom line is that it's disrespectful, and disrespectful in a particularly obnoxious sexist way

I agree entirely, but I’m curious about how the degree (?) of sexism differs when this was written by a woman and defended by a woman. That is, can you reasonably make a charge of sexism against a woman writing this about a woman or another woman defending it?

If I appear to be impressed by that now famous picture of Cheney – is that sexist?

Not to break my agreement with Hilzoy, but as an example: If I remark that Edwards seems effeminate – am I sexist or homophobic? (It gets hard to keep track.)

How about the men pundits telling me I might like Thompson because secretly I have a man-crush on him. Sexist?

On the larger point I agree. Thompson’s trophy wife, Edwards haircut, HRC’s cleavage – all are just dumb in the current political climate (always dumb, but especially now).

Pub, I disagree with you here:

"and disrespectful in a particularly obnoxious sexist way"

I have never seen WAPO attack a Republican woman this way, this treatment is strictly reserved for Democrats.

This is an attack piece with the same motivations as WAPO & NYT pieces on Edwards hair.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

...meanwhile Chris Mathews is sniffing the Republican males pheromones and gushing about how he fancies them.

BTW, does anybody else find Republican memes sounding like something a drag queen would say? I mean, what's up with that? Are all the guys writing the Republicans script gay in all but name? How else do you explain their themes mimicking of Homo-erotica? Are these themes being focus group tested, or are they daydreams from a cabal of Roves boy's? You'd think Dems could make some headway in red states just by pointing this out.

I’m curious about how the degree (?) of sexism differs when this was written by a woman and defended by a woman. That is, can you reasonably make a charge of sexism against a woman writing this about a woman or another woman defending it?

One need not be male to be a misogynist. Exhibit A: Phyllis Schlafly.

The stories that reduce candidates to charicatures based on their grooming habits - cleavage, haircuts, Gore's "earth tones" - are meant to belittle, not only the candidates, but the public as well. It's the MSM saying the candidates aren't worth being taken seriously, and anyway the public's a bunch of mouthbreathers who eat this stuff up.

ocsteve - i think you're combining several issues. first, i think there's the general critique of covering frivolous stuff (e.g., haircut). swooning over thompson for instance wouldn't be sexist, but covering it would be a frivolous story divorced from substance.

i guess what i'm saying is that this specific type of article is different in kind from (1) general frivolousness (frivolity? - Gary?) and (2) complaints from the PC police.

this might be worthy of its own post, but it's disrespectful and demeaning in a unique way by treating women candidates differently. for instance, if you're a lawyer working with a new lawyer at your firm for the first time, it's sexist to hit on her and ask her out. it goes to the point of objectifying women, making women deal with shit men don't have to fool with, etc.

again, i have no use for political correctness. but this is different

"If you really think that that is why "the Right" opposes sex ed in public schools, you are so far off base that you are playing another sport entirely."
phil: it was long the contention of those in the religious right that sex education wasn't the responsibility of the schools and shouldn't be taught there. For decades, that was a persistent threnody of complaint, ie: the subject was contextually inappropriate in school, but talking about sex in private (Daddy & Mommy explaining about the birds and bees) was OK. All the chatter about sex education promoting promiscuity came much later.

Talking about sex (or male or female sexual parts) in public has been abhorrent to many Americans throughout our history, an inherited Victorian prejudice which permeated much of American life, especially the religious sectors. This attitude inspired periodic censorship campaigns, and produced zealous self-righteous monsters like Anthony Comstock, who spent a lifetime arresting artists and writers and publishers under obscenity laws enacted to satisfy religious groups who were offended by anything that had to do with sex, or nudity, or any other subject not lofty enough to suit their own preconceptions of righteousness: just like the bloggers who want stories about Hillary's boobs kept off limits.

Comstock, in one of his letters, voices incensed outrage over a book he saw on sale in a public bookstore: "It is perverted reading and turns away from lofty aims, smut that has no place in any respectable public venue, where higher ideals must be enforced for the public good." See, the same respectable public venue argument voiced by the politically correct little Lords and Ladies Fauntleroys on this blog, who expressed outrage over the harmless Clinton-Cleavage story, because it was published in a major newspaper--.

In the early 1900s Comstock went into conniptions of indignation over a painting he saw in a public art gallery. He stormed into the store and tried to get it removed, but the gallery manager refused. Soon after a controversy ensued, and the September Morn painting received nationwide coverage in the press, and swarms of curious citizens filled the street outside the store, trying to peek inside to get a glimpse of it. Constock had continued a barrage of outrage in the press, describing the painting as vulgar and offensive, something that should not be allowed to be viewed in a public setting -- but after the public saw the painting, and realized it was innocuous, they turned on Comstock. He quickly became a figure of ridicule, and was laughed into oblivion.

In interviews following the controversy, he had tried to defend himself against the charges that he was a twit and a prude, claiming that no one revered the female form more than he did, but "the place for a woman's body to be -denuded-is in the privacy of her own apartments with the blinds down."

Same antiquated argument: different era and venue.

S Brennan--
do you recall this (bold added) from (from here):

`BUSH USA is predominantly white; devoutly Christian (mostly Protestant); openly, vigorously heterosexual; an open land of single-family homes and ranches; economically sound (except for a few farms), but not drunk with cyberworld business development, and mainly English-speaking, with a predilection for respectfully uttering "yes, ma'am" and "yes, sir."'


I have always found that to be very creepily phrased --
"Hey Mike, how are you this morning? Still vigorously heterosexual?"
"Why thank you Bud. Of course I am! Just ask the wife, heh heh."
"Me too! May I demonstrate just how openly, vigorously heterosexual I am right now?"

That we are discussing this at all means that they have successfully framed the candidates as products. What does draping a blond over a car's hood have to do with whether or not I need that car? Nothing, but it sell cars.

In fact, ads create demand and drive sales. They do this by appealing to suppressed libidinal needs and desires. Not by simply presenting the cold facts about the product. By manipulating those desires you can lead the masses in any direction you want to take them.

That is exactly what is happening here and frankly it has been going on for a long time. The "news" is used as a tool to drive public opinion, to shape and mold conventional thinking along directions that are determined by others, not us.

Deborah Howell is just doing her job and I am sure that Fred Hiatt is as pleased with her performance as Bush is with Gonzales'.

How else do you explain their themes mimicking of Homo-erotica? Are these themes being focus group tested, or are they daydreams from a cabal of Roves boy's? You'd think Dems could make some headway in red states just by pointing this out.

I doubt it. First you'd have to explain to the voters what homo-erotica is. Once they get the concept, and see enough examples, then they might start wondering about republican ads.

But long before they get to that point they'll be utetrly icked out. And who will they be icked out at? At you.

OCSteve: Like publius, I have no use for political correctness, though I think that PC is an exaggerated version of a very legitimate response. (Subject for another conversation.) But I also think this is sexist, and that one need not be male to be sexist.

When I wrote about it, and produced those examples of stories we'll never see ("There were testicles on display in the Senate office building today.", etc.), I meant to be funny, but there was a serious point there. We never will see those stories. Why? Because you just don't write that way about men. People really, really don't, at least not in mainstream outlets.

I mean: if you saw the picture of Clinton, it wasn't as though she was wearing a dress with the neckline cut down to her belly-button, or anything. She was wearing a perfectly normal, non-risque shirt. And you really do have to look hard to see what the story was about. It's exactly like writing about the fact that some guy in a perfectly sedate wool suit has not managed to render his genitalia completely invisible. And there are not, and I bet will not be this election season, any such stories.

And the thing is: this sort of story isn't just obnoxious in the obvious way. It's also about seeing someone who is doing normal professional stuff through the lens of her cleavage. -- My sister used to have a job that involved supervising construction sites. She thought that was really cool, since she loves construction sites. The very first time she ever got to go out to one of the sites she was supposed to be supervising, she was really excited, and really psyched to do a great job. And the first thing that happened was that the guy in charge made a pass at her. And it was bad not just because strangers making passes at you is always obnoxious, but because at this moment when she was really psyched to do a really good job, it was as though he had walked up to her and said: you might see yourself as a professional; I see you as genitalia prancing around in a hard hat. -- Which is a different sort of insult entirely.

Jerome said "For decades, that was a persistent threnody of complaint,"

I don't think threnody means what you think it means or at least you should use it when its called for and not to puff yourself up.

Threnody
A song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person.

Jerome said "just like the bloggers who want stories about Hillary's boobs kept off limits."

Actually what I see most people objecting to is the unfairness. Only Democrats seem to get this treatment while GOP candidates get much more favorable reviews, though they are still sexualized.

Brennan said "BTW, does anybody else find Republican memes sounding like something a drag queen would say? I mean, what's up with that?"

It does seem like all too many worker bee Republicans are closeted gays or pederasts or suffer from fetish or other. I think there are two explanations.

One, If you are going to build a loyal, obedient political machine how can you really trust anyone? Well, you do what the mafia does, you find out their sexual perversions, video tape them and presto, loyal drone.

Two, Their base has significant repressed homosexual drives. All men do but the GOP base *needs* to keep those drives deeply repressed. Case in point, watching "300" at an IMAX theater and enjoying the experience. Now there is a visual for you.

Is Deborah Howell Ann Althouse?

Something to note about the original article - the author appears to be quite good. Her story about Cheney at Auschwitz was vivid, unsensational, and moral - it made a small but worthwhile point about Cheney's view of his place in the world and surely the world's view of us. I was embarrassed to read the cleavage essay in part because it was written by someone talented - a perceptive person who should have known better. I can even imagine that if she had had an editor with half hilzoy's clarity of thought the article might have started from that very unpromising place and ended up saying something useful.

That is, can you reasonably make a charge of sexism against a woman writing this about a woman or another woman defending it?

Yes. Sexism is not gender-bound.

publius: i think you're combining several issues.

Oh, absolutely. My mind wandered a bit from your specific post to something a little more general. To repeat, I agree with your larger point. But any talk of sexist in this context has to be explored a little more I think.

It seems like if I express any interest in Thompson, it is some kind of suppressed man-love, and there is no inhibition in accusing me of that. If I raise any point related to the fact that HRC is in fact a women, that is taken as sexist. If I picked on Edwards hair (I won’t) I’m homophobic. I have sworn all that off anyway – but double standards always bug me.


Hilzoy: I mean: if you saw the picture of Clinton, it wasn't as though she was wearing a dress with the neckline cut down to her belly-button, or anything. She was wearing a perfectly normal, non-risque shirt.

Again, that never even twigged my radar. Just the discussion since. Now to express my true man-pig side, if she had good cleavage and it was on display – would I click? Hmmm.

OCSteve: my handy guide to these accusations: if you say that Fred Thompson has a good tax policy: not man-crush. If you start musing about whether he smells of Aqua Velva, or talking about how masculine and studly he is, Digby might snicker at you. If you notice Hilary Clinton's cleavage, but keep your reaction to yourself, fine. If she appears in clothing normally seen only on Cher in concert and you notice her cleavage and remark on it, fine. If you write a whole article about her cleavage when she is wearing a perfectly sedate rose shell with a black blazer, and you had to take out a magnifying glass to find said cleavage in the picture, one might think your interest was unusual.

Personally, I've never seen the issue about Edwards' hair. Is he supposed to pretend to be suffering from male pattern baldness when he's not? A mystery.

"writing about whether the candidates had sex last night would probably be highly-viewed too"

I'm not so sure. It's difficult for me to think of something I would less rather read about or think about than whether Fred Thompson had sex last night.

Perhaps, Ted, but an article like that would still get links from all over the blogosphere.

Although Howell raises a lot of very important questions, there are some she left out. Does Hillary Clinton's cleavage embolden our enemies? Is it really possible to pay attention to what a woman is saying when you are staring at her breasts? Do we want to take the risk that Hillary will appear as weak as Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto and Indira Ghandi apparently did to Muslim men? Could Hillary use her feminine wiles to manipulate our electorate? Could Hillary's cleavage divide America down the middle at a time when we need another uniter not a divider?

I also think the questions of two other conservative bloggers besides myself deserve to be answered:

Ann Althouse: "Are you going to say that we ought to be giving attention to the content of that speech and not to the presentation of the woman who would be President?" (This is clearly a rhetorical question.)

Tigerhawk: "How will those of us who believe that political feminism has outlived its usefulness sustain that belief if one of the nation's leading newspapers insists on deconstructing Hillary Clinton's neckline?"

jon: "Is it really possible to pay attention to what a woman is saying when you are staring at her breasts?"

Some of the world-class lady poker players (who show a lot of cleavage when they sit down to play) consider it an advantage to have big, luscious breasts to serve as distractions to rational thought, and shake and wiggle them during hands to distract their male opponents into making bad calls, like Jennifer Tillie, and
Clonie Gowen as two examples of lady players who have used the technique to great advantage. And when Hillary is elected I hope she's canny enough to show up at important diplomatic meetings with scooped bodices that show at least a glimpse of nipple, because it may indeed provide a positive outcome when negotiating treaties, especially with Arabs and Persians who have a hard time thinking straight when confronted with bare female flesh.

Well, as long as Deborah Howell has raised the cleavage issue, can we please deal with another pair of elephants in the living room:

Mrs. Fred Thompson aka 'Jeri': siliconically enhanced?

And how about Mrs. Rudy Giuliani aka Judith Nathan?

Inquiring minds want to know.

And when Hillary is elected I hope she's canny enough to show up at important diplomatic meetings with scooped bodices that show at least a glimpse of nipple, because it may indeed provide a positive outcome when negotiating treaties, especially with Arabs and Persians who have a hard time thinking straight when confronted with bare female flesh.

I just switched my vote to Fred Thomson's wife.

And when Hillary is elected I hope she's canny enough to show up at important diplomatic meetings with scooped bodices that show at least a glimpse of nipple, because it may indeed provide a positive outcome when negotiating treaties, especially with Arabs and Persians who have a hard time thinking straight when confronted with bare female flesh.

I just switched my vote to Fred Thomson's wife.

And when Hillary is elected I hope she's canny enough to show up at important diplomatic meetings with scooped bodices that show at least a glimpse of nipple, because it may indeed provide a positive outcome when negotiating treaties, especially with Arabs and Persians who have a hard time thinking straight when confronted with bare female flesh.

I just switched my vote to Fred Thomson's wife.

And when Hillary is elected I hope she's canny enough to show up at important diplomatic meetings with scooped bodices that show at least a glimpse of nipple, because it may indeed provide a positive outcome when negotiating treaties, especially with Arabs and Persians who have a hard time thinking straight when confronted with bare female flesh.

I just switched my vote to Fred Thomson's wife.

Inquiring minds want to know.

But inquiring minds don't want to know, they want to sleep and dream. People keep trying to analyze this at the most superficial level. None of this has anything at all to do with whether or not it is "appropriate" or if we should pay attention to how a candidate dresses or grooms themselves and it most certainly has nothing to do with feminism. Not one of these questions touches on what is really going on and what our reaction to that ought to be.

The real questions should be:
Is it acceptable for the media to use psychoanalytical techniques to promote or attack political candidates? Is it proper to disguise those techniques as news? Do we really want our elections to become a psy-ops battlefield (as if it wasn't already)?

Or perhaps we should accept that this is how things are and we ought to therefore use those same techniques ourselves. Because if we think that all you have to do to win an election is to present just the facts we will keep on losing election after election.

I have learned two things about Jay Jerome: first, he has a real fixation on breasts, and second, he doesn't understand the difference between criticizing a newspaper and censoring a newspaper. Really, comparing publius to Anthony Comstock is just over the top.

Not that there's anything wrong with liking breasts. As an "openly, vigorously heterosexual" male, I'm pro-breasts.

I just want to note that we've had a lot of further comment, and we're likely to get a lot more.

Just saying.

because it may indeed provide a positive outcome when negotiating treaties, especially with Arabs and Persians who have a hard time thinking straight when confronted with bare female flesh.

I seem to recall that this kind of thinking went on in developing various interrogation techniques at Gitmo. Given how well that has worked out, I'm sure that utilizing it on the diplomatic level will be a hit as well.

Could Hillary's cleavage divide America down the middle at a time when we need another uniter not a divider?

The name was off screen when I started to read that comment and I thought for a minute Thullen! Alas no. (Nothing against you Jon Smith, the style of your comment reminded me of someone else.)

Of the twelve now in office, eleven have at least a B-cup measurement

Maybe I've lost all perspective from being married to someone with a DDD cup, but since when is a B-cup considered "ample"?

Off topic, but also noted without further comment:

Republican fund raising pitch to former Democratic Congresswomen they vilified

Same antiquated argument: different era and venue.

If bloggers were complaining about the Post et al. publishing the picture of Clinton, you might have the germ of a point here. Since they're complaining not about the picture, but about the Post's glossing the picture as if one of its details had political or cultural significance (which it doesn't), you don't. But many thanks for the handy guide to World Leaders With Boobage.

And so to Google.


It was the most viewed story on the Web site all day.

People like to gawk at car crashes, but that's no reason to run your car into a brdge abutment.

OCSteve: (Nothing against you Jon Smith, the style of your comment reminded me of someone else.)

That's Jon Swift, who happens to be my all-time favourite conservative blogger. Any proposal he tenders is eminently reasonable (if not modest).

;-)

matttbastard : "That's Jon Swift, who happens to be my all-time favourite conservative blogger."

All time favorite satirist: (a liberal in conservative clothing) --

liberal japonicus: "I seem to recall that this kind of thinking went on in developing various interrogation techniques at Gitmo. Given how well that has worked out, I'm sure that utilizing it on the diplomatic level will be a hit as well."

Well, hypothetically, if there was a way to get Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into a diplomatic conference room, strip him naked, bound him with ropes, beat him with paddles, and broadcast it on YouTube, I certainly think it would have a positive effect on much of the world's political climate, and improve our standing in it -- don't you?

Well, it would get a lot of views, so it must be a good thing by Jay Jerome logic.

All time favorite satirist: (a liberal in
conservative clothing)

Yes, well aware of that, JJ, hence my referring to modest proposals ('Jon Swift' being more than a clever name, etc).

Jeez.

Add a wry ':-P' to my above comment (which upon review comes across as more petulant than intended).

I mean, writing about whether the candidates had sex last night would probably be highly-viewed too, but that doesn't exactly make it ok. Ugh. This is the Ombudsman mind you.

Jeeeez, what did I do? ;-)

Jeeeez, what did I do? ;-)

C'mon, just look at your trousers. Bit tight 'round the inseam, wouldn't you say?

matttbastard: "Add a wry ':-P' to my above comment (which upon review comes across as more petulant than intended)"

Sorry, but I don't forgive you for the petulant outburst, and in retaliation, I'm taking away a "t" from your name and sending you off to bed without it: until you learn the errors of your ways you will be referred to as mattbastard (2-ts)... think of this punishment as a form of tough-love; you'll be a better person as a result; but if you don't mend your ways, more of the same is in store for you, matbastard; I think you get the picture.

Given the topic, I would have thought that taking away a pair of t's was a requirement.

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