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October 30, 2007
Luxe and Luxemburg
The other day French President Sarkozy walked out of a 60 Minutes interview by Leslie Stahl when she tried to ambush him into responding about his personal life. He keeps going up in my estimation.
Here was a rare opportunity for a woman TV journo to ask some substantive questions of the most pro-American, pro-free enterprise, potentially transformative French leader of our time and she chose to turn it into some tabloid dreck. Surely, there's a lesson to be had for her and for women interviewers in that act. If you expect to be taken seriously enough to get interviews with world leaders, then you must do your homework and make it a serious interview.
Why fight for the right to be taken seriously in the work place if you, yourself think so little of yourself that you won't do serious work when you're there?
It is interesting to see what making the newsroom more diverse has devolved into:
Katie Couric has "perkified" the news only to find her audience leaving in droves. People expect women who reach that level of success to, like you know, get serious.
Another womanpioneer in TV news, Barbara Walters, is spending a lot of time on her show The View, which seems little more than a gab feast of poorly informed chicks beamed at... who? I can't figure out who watches this foolishness or why. There are more women than men at most American colleges and universities.'' And women are taking on higher roles in all the professions and business. Surely, they aren't leaving their work aside to view this ill-informed drivel.
Welfare reform means that there are fewer low income, poorly educated women lounging in front of their sets all day and those who are probably just tuned in when Rosie was cat fighting and Springerizing the show.
Maybe the audience is shut ins and the hospital bound who are unable to get their hands on the remote and are too weak to move out of bed and switch the channel to something more entertaining and informative like the Food Channel.
But as mysterious as that demographic is, the audience for high style magazines is even more beyond my comprehension.
Magazines and newspaper supplements aimed at middle class women are chock full of useful information -- how to apply for college scholarships, managing money, making appealing and nutritious family meals on a budget, for example.(Though there remains an odd penchant for interposing recipes for high calorie desserts with the latest diet tips.) But uniformly, the more expensive the merchandise advertised in the publication, the more left wing those articles not about décor or fashion are. Check out the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Vogue, and you'll see, alongside Tiffany and Gucci and Bulgari, ads for charter planes, luxurious cars and exotic resorts in far away places, stuff that you'd expect to hear at Berkeley town meetings.
Surely even Dos Passos would blink at the juxtaposition of ads for the $45,000 Vuitton Tribute handbag, shoes and baubles to accessorize your outfit which cost as much as a medical school with calls to arms on whatever is the left's cause of the moment -- from banning all reasonable domestic energy sources in favor of make believe alternatives to tributes to the fraud Rigoberta Menchu..
So, to whom are these articles aimed? Are the second wives of fabulously rich men plotting revolution in their anger at having been forced to sign a pre-nup? Are their daughters cutting their credit cards into silhouettes of Che?
Rosa Luxemburg famously said:
Was she speaking to those women swaddled in golden Chanel links hooked on this mindless pap?
Thomas Lifson adds:
I agree and can only add that this odd juxtaposition of conspicuous consumption and radical posturing demonstrates that for the affluent left, politics amounts to a fashion statement.