Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Old Grey Globe.....She Ain't No Hollaback Rag


Remember when the Globe and Mail went after Heather Mallick with both barrels blazing earlier in the week because of her take on why the Republicans really chose Sarah Palin?

Well, just in case you've forgotten, especially given the fact that it was two real debates and a fake one with thought-bubbles ago, here's an excerpt:

"Try to imagine the CBC publishing a website column similar to the one its contributor Heather Mallick wrote attacking Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, but on Barack Obama. Instead of a grotesque attack on the supposed "porn star" look affected by a Republican woman, and a personal attack on her children, substitute a grotesque attack on the Democratic presidential candidate and family, linking his personal characteristics to sexual excess. It wouldn't - and shouldn't - happen. But then the Mallick column should have been out of bounds, too........"

Now, the Globe's editorial board is entitled to their opinion, but after the perspective that a few days (ie. an eternity in the bloggodome) provides, I thought it might be a worthwhile exercise to go back and re-read Ms. Mallick's original column to see if the Globe's opinion stands up to scrutiny.

First, regarding the supposed personal attack on Ms. Palin's children, here is what Ms. Mallick actually wrote:

Bristol has what is known in Britain as the look of the teen mum, the "pramface." Husband Todd looks like a roughneck; Track, heading off to Iraq, appears terrified.

Hmmmmm.......Stating that Ms. Palin's son "looks terrified"certainly is personal, but I'm not so sure it is an attack, particularly given how the Republicans have trumpeted his impending deployment to Iraq. And as for characterizing Ms. Palin's daughter as having "the look of a teen mum,", well, isn't that exactly how the McCain braintrust presented her to the entire world? Which leaves us with the term 'pram face', which, as noted by Ms. Mallick, means "teen mum" in a relatively perjorative-free way in Britain. So, while I do see the personal, I, personally, am still looking for the 'attack'. Unless, of course, you figure that Ms. Palin's husband Todd is one of the children, which would be unfair. Regardless, is calling someone who is a "snow machine racer" a "roughneck" an attack, personal or otherwise?

So, let's move on to the supposed "pornstar look affected" by a Republican woman who has a predeliction for "excess" reference.

Again, here are Ms. Mallick's actual words:

"Palin has a toned-down version of the porn actress look favoured by this decade's woman, the overtreated hair, puffy lips and permanently alarmed expression."

Hmmmmmmmmm.......once again......Do you see any specific linkage to 'Republican' women there? How about something about sexual excess?

Me, I don't see either.

What I do see, however, is a witty description of the look affected a goodly percentage of the Moms I see hanging around outside my youngest kid's school on any given day, not to mention the fact that it pretty much nails the look of every one of the female leads on, say, 'Desperate Housewives'.

Now, I would agree, however, with anyone who found Ms. Mallick's description of what should be done to keep one's teenaged daughter away from boys who write stuff like "I'm a f*ckin' redneck" on their Facebook page shocking.

But only from the perspective of someone who found was shocked to find himself agreeing with her.


Because I happen to have one.

A teenaged daughter, I mean.

But enough of all that, because what I found to be a core truth within Ms. Mallick's piece was the following:

"Palin was not a sure choice, not even for the stolidly Republican ladies branch of Citizens for a Tackier America. No, she isn't even female really. She's a type, and she comes in male form too."

And what 'type' is that exactly?

Well, if you had watched the Globe and Mail's homepage all week, it looks like it might be a type that can be used to titillate as well as to beckon and to call.

To wit:

(click image to enlarge)

But here's the thing.......

If you did click through the Globe's video picks 'beck and call' that was fronted by Mr. Palin's image on Wednesday, a full day-and-a-half before the non-debate debate, there was nothing behind the link that I could find that was actually about Ms. Palin.

Which suggests to me that the folks running the Globe's homepage were using Ms. Palin's 'type' to tart up their Old Grey Lady to sell more hits.

And in so doing it would appear that the Globe runners were themselves doing pretty much the same thing as the Republicans that picked Ms. Palin's 'type' in an effort to tart up their Grand Old Party to garner more hits from potential voters.


And as for anyone who is brazen enough to suggest that a little eyelash action just might be something more, well, I'm sure that Margaret Wente is ready to tear a strip off of you too.


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