Monday, March 16, 2009

NY Times discovers "Fat" is insulting

The New York Times is reporting talk-show host Laura Ingraham was unhappy with Megan McCain's criticisms of author Ann Coulter and retaliated in less-than-kind, "That enraged Ms. Ingraham, who responded on her radio show by mimicking Ms. McCain, using a caustic “Valley girl” voice. (The blog ThinkProgress has the audio.)"

Ingraham was quoted saying while imitating McCain:

O.K., I was really hoping that I was going to get that role in “The Real World,” but then I realized that, well, they don’t like plus-sized models.

I'm not a fan of Ms. Ingraham's so I do not know if attacking someone's weight is a normal part of her schtick.

However, whatever weight issues Ms. McCain may have, such a personal attack is clearly unwarranted. If you want to attack her youth, inexperience, lack of political acumen, political philosophy, then have at it. But attacking McCain’s body type to score political points and entertain an audience is no more appropriate than making cancer jokes about Ingraham. Ingraham should apologize.

That said, I am pleased to discover the New York Times is now aware of issue of attacking one’s weight in political discourse today. I cannot wait for the newspaper to follow up on all the attacks on other political pundits for their waist size rather than ideas.

They can start, of course, with an editorial attacking the critics of Rush Limbaugh for resorting to fat jokes early and often when criticizing him. One of the first times my wife and I listened to Rush Limbaugh together El Rushbo was reading an e-mail sent to him by a liberal, “I. Hope. You. Die. Of. Cancer. You. Fat. Ass.”

Minnesota is about to send former comedian Al Franken to the US Senate, so this might be a good time for the New York Times to ask what he thinks of fat Minnesotans. After all, he thought weight was a significant enough issue when he wrote Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot. Judging from the title and the tone of the book (I won’t judge it just by its cover) it’s pretty plain that Franken considers “Big” and “Fat” as pejoratives. I wonder if many “big” and “fat” Minnesotans were aware of the little esteem Franken holds for them.

You would think that I, the sexiest man in the Cheddarsphere, would be immune from such personal attacks. No so, my cheeseburger-deprived friends. Despite not having a national radio talk show or residence in Minnesota (although I have eaten there) I, too, have been the recipient of a few shots aimed at my weight. What I find shocking is the number of them that cannot even make the insult sound original, and their criticisms do not go much further than the initial insult. There are no small bloggers, only commenters small in mind.