Monday, August 23, 2010

Take Two

Sheepish wave.

So. My week--er, day--with Fox News didn't exactly pan out. I wanted to write, I really did, but shit just sort of got in the way.

A list of said shit:

1. I had to pack to visit SSB in Scandinavia. Socialist paradise!
2. I left for Scandinavia.
3. I was there for two and a half weeks.
4. I brought SSB back to These United States.
5. He stayed for two weeks.
6. We broke up.
7. When I started this blog, I expected to find maybe two or three instances of senseless privilege per hour watched of "The Most Powerful Name in News." I found much, much more than that, and there just wasn't time to write it all down before I spent the rest of the summer with SSB. Yes, dear readers, I dumped you for a guy. But he dumped me, so now I get to spend some more time with you!

Recaps from June (because this shit stew is too rotten to remain unnoticed)

Hannity Highlights

Sean says that Obama "rejected the aid of thirteen countries" (this was at the peak of the oil spill damage), which is all well and good and true--except for the fact that it isn't. Hannity expounds on this talking point (hey, that's what Bill O'Reilly calls them!), referring to Obama as "acting like a petulant child" for not lifting the Jones Act, which supposedly prevented said international aid.

Though Obama indeed left the Jones Act in place, but according to The Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center , "Currently, 15 foreign-flagged vessels are involved in the largest response to an oil spill in U.S. Jones Act waivers have been granted because none of these vessels have required such a waiver to conduct their operations in the Gulf of Mexico."

Now, some would say, why trust Deepwater Horizon? Aren't they BP's oil rig? Well, sure, but considering that Hannity doesn't like how BP was treated in the Congressional Hearings (they're a poor, struggling business, y'all! FREE MARKET! Think of the CHILDREN [okay, he didn't actually say that, but someone did at some point on Fox last June]), he should feel inclined to listen to their claims. And if they claim that foreign aid happened, then by golly, it happened. Hannity, it seems, trusts BP so much he probably thinks they could make "fetch" happen.

Also of note--after discussing how Obama's economically incompetent and apparently someone's wasting money on "$200,000 studies on how college women have sex," Hannity turned to his new female correspondent and told her "great debut, you're like a pro!"

No, Sean. If you're a journalist, you're not LIKE a pro, you ARE one. By definition. Something tells me he wouldn't be saying this to a new male correspondent. The remark came off as condescending, childish, and, in all, something that should have stayed in the Mad Men script.

And second, how is a study on how college women have sex necessarily a waste of money? I'm assuming it's not a marketing study designed to push products--if it were, Hannity and co would be overjoyed at the free market's commercialization of sexuality.

Maybe a study like this would show these crazies that sex--yes, even for young adults--is natural and good for your development as a human being. Maybe this study would show that the numbers of college women having sex OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE are growing and that this is nothing to be concerned about. This study could help destroy the virgin/whore dichotomy the Right is always pushing on our young women.

But, alas, it's considered unimportant and unworthy of anything except for Hannity's creepy man-chortles.

Then Ann Coulter came on and suggested that ACORN could be responsible for the surprise winning nomination of Alvin Greene for U.S. Senate. Oh, and she thinks that BP should've been covered by private insurance.


In a transparent attempt at appearing bipartisan, Mike invited two Obama-supporting Dems on his show to defend the President's handling of the BP spill. Now, as a registered Democrat myself, I wasn't thrilled with Obama's actions concerning cleanup, but Huckabee's audience started BOOING these two when they timidly suggested regulation of drilling in the future.


Of Drilling.

It was as though they'd suggested giving gays more rights, or something.

And then there was Raquel Welch.

Oh, Raquel. I've always wanted to like you, I really have. But, as we know, any woman does not a feminist make ::COUGH:: palin::COUGH::, and sadly I have to inform you that Ms. Welch is no friend to progressive women.

"Women will like her views on women," smarmed a smug Huckabee--yes, I've just turned an adjective into a verb. It's cool.

And then Raquel walks on and the camera pans across the audience, which is filled with wholesome white families, all smiling because it's Father's Day, and Raquel talks about how when she was younger, "sex and stuff wasn't even around." She seemed to express the sentiment that women fell into a WORSE place after the Birth Control revolution.

She's "glad that she had strict parents" and she didn't have group sex in Hollywood because it wasn't her thing. Okay, cool. But does anyone else think that, coming from a noted sex symbol, this pathological view of sex is problematic?

Ms. Welch didn't set out to be a sex symbol--"It wasn't me, but I could PLAY her. In fact, I still play her," she said, to applause. Then she gave the conventional, boring spiel about how sex without someone you love is giving an important part of yourself away, and it's great that that works for her, but why does the Right always have to ruin it for other people, you know?

Ms. Welch is encouraging girls and women to internalize the virgin/whore dichotomy. You know, dressing as "slutty" as possible because women are objects of desire, but SAY NO TO SEX BECAUSE IT'S MORALLY REPUGNANT! No wonder young people are so confused. No wonder men abuse women. When a woman's sexuality is framed as a commodity that must be reluctantly "given"--ie, we 'lose' our virginity to men who 'take' it--she loses her agency, and--according to abstinence advocates--her purity and her moral compass. For more on the virgin/whore dichotomy, see The Purity Myth, by Jessica Valenti. For more on the commodity model of sex, see Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power & a World Without Rape.

Wow. This is a longgg post, and I haven't even gotten to Glenn Beck yet! Stay tuned for something that'll more likely than not be like a scene from A Beautiful Mind.

See, they're not that different! They both write really esoteric shit on vertical surfaces! And they're also both insane.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

REAL Men Don't do Washingtonspeak

Okay, day one. I can handle this.

No, I can't. I'm fucking terrified. Once I start watching I'm afraid I'll throw up, and once I throw up I won't be able to stop and it will only be a matter of time until I see Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck floating by on my own vomit, struggling to stay afloat on a worn-out copy of Atlas Shrugged.

I'm going now. Pray for me. Or don't, because I know my SSB (Scandinavian Socialist Boyfriend ™)isn't because he's all atheist and shit. It's cool, man. Whatever floats your a sea of vomit.

Here's something to keep you busy until I get back. Stories like this are a large part of what inspired me to take on this miniproject:

Okay, I'm back. I'm back and I'm exhausted. On June 18th (Friday), I watched The O'Reilly Factor and parts of Hannity. I would have watched more--I keep my promises--but my parents were all "who watches this crap" so I turned it off. Dear reader, I apologize, but I was extremely grateful for the return of my sanity.

So, O'Reilly. O'Reilly on Father's Day Weekend is O'Reilly with an extra dose of condescension and patriarchal attitudes. When I tuned in, he had equated the father with "the patriot"--a character whom, though he (obviously a he) was not defined in this particular episode is, we assume, pro-America and likely also a conservative who ascribes to Judeo-Christian values. This is the American way of life to which O'Reilly refers in the clip above. The highest calling of the father, said O'Reilly in a tone that implied nothing less than sacred admiration, is to protect and take care of his family. Okay, so I didn't expect O'Reilly to be a feminist or anything, but we're still talking about this? Really? I understand where he's coming from because it's true that women still feel unsafe alone at night and all that, but maybe if these attitudes weren't constantly perpetuated, women would feel safe. They'd be safe. And that, my friends, is patriarchy in action. This fetishization of male power and dominance is not safe for couples who want equality in relationships. If women are said to be weak, women are treated as though they are weak.

Photo © istockphoto/Serdar Yagci

                                                                Poster © Austin Cline

The next topic O'Reilly covered that caught my eye--ears?--was soccer. Or, more specifically, Glenn Beck's view of soccer. He hates soccer, and wants us to know that he hates it "being shoved down his throat" whenever he goes into a bar. Hmm, why does that sound familiar?

Oh,THIS. and also, this. I'm not sure why that meme is so popular among conservatives--though I've considered both its connotations of force-feeding and deep-throating--but Beck went on to say that soccer is being "shoved down [his] throat. It's like Universal Healthcare--the rest of the world can have it, we don't want it!"

Speak for yourself, Glenn.

And apparently soccer is almost as bad as curling, which is so bad, according to Beck, that little girls can beat professionals. Little girls, he said. Not children. I'll let that one speak for itself.

O'Reilly ended his broadcast with a segment called "Pinhead or Patriot" (maybe it's the other way around? I'll get it right next time!), in which he targeted popular reality show The Jersey Shore's character Snooki and Congressman Barney Frank (not affiliated with The Jersey Shore. But really, how awesome would that be?). O'Reilly didn't even know who Snooki was (one of the show's guests nominated her for pinhead), but he immediately condemned her for sending a bad message to America's young women. "She's got a hair pouf," said the female guest, making vague hand motions over her head. As a picture of Snooki came up on the screen, O'Reilly chuckled and said that she was poofing out in other places, too. After confirming that she was a reality show cast member, said female guest clutched her manicured hands and said, "well, I don't know how real she is...she's, I hate to say it, trampy."

So, you're calling her a slut. And her body is public property on which you can comment. Glad we got that straight.

Finally, O'Reilly nominated Barney Frank as pinhead due to his stated desire for a balance with taxes--words which O'Reilly took to mean as the state of equal amounts of money going into the government as are going into the private sector. And that, of course, is...wait for it...SOCIALISM!

Don't go there, Barney, said O'Reilly. This is a "capitalist-y country."

Coming up: Friday's episode of Hannity--well, parts of it--and Saturday's edition of Huckabee featuring the surprisingly conservative Raquel Welch! Bonus: Glenn Beck repeat on how art imitates life!

The Fox News Performance Art Collective

January. 2010
My Scandinavian Socialist Boyfriend ™ is stateside for a mere four hours before I introduce him to the joys of channel flipping. I'm skipping merrily upwards into the double digits when he asks me to reverse. We park at Fox News and spend several minutes listening to some long-forgotten O'Reilly rant. He (Boyfriend, not Papa Bear) turns to me and states affirmatively, "This is like the Daily Show. It's a joke."

Boyfriend actually wasn't too far off. Fox is about as genuinely populist as Boss Tweed.

Fox News is an echo chamber which, as I will demonstrate, both feeds off of and contributes to the kyriarchy (more on that word choice later), contributing to the intersectional issues of sexism, heterosexism, racism, ableism, and classism. It's all stirred to a boil with a healthy dose of misogyny and jingoism!

June. 2010
I'm committing myself to a week of basking in the cray-cray rays. Why? This shit is FASCINATING to me. I'm a virgin Fox viewer (ok, we hooked up once and I'll admit to sexting) and an unapologetic feminist. Let's see where this goes.