The Men of Journolist
Somebody needs to say it. The Journolist scandal will not be finished until someone says it.
Who let the dogs out?
The website iowntheworld.com is posting pictures of the Men of Journolist, the listserv where “journalists” got together to hammer out talking points to help liberal politicians. The Journolist has been called corrupt. A disgrace. Something that will never be lived down. But it’s also the ugliest group of life forms this side of a National Geographic special. When do these orcs march on Helm’s Deep?
It’s childish to make fun of someone’s looks, I know. So I’ll get to the deeper point. Perusing the Journolist photo spread – while trying to keep my lunch down – I realized that this proves once and for all that Nietzsche was wrong. The philosopher claimed that Christianity was a religion of losers, people full of resentment who wanted to strike out at their betters. Christians wanted to turn the world upside down by elevating the weak, sad, ugly and pathetic. It was the faith of losers.
Scanning the pictures of the Men of Journolist, it becomes apparent that Nietzsche had it exactly backwards. It is secular atheism – the religion of the media – that is the religion of resentment, rage, intolerance, and apparently folks who were at the business end of a fugly stick beat-down. People have made cracks about the whiteness of the list, but the other lack of diversity is the total absence of hotness. There were 400 Journolisters. Walk into a room of 400 people anywhere on this planet, and there will be at least a few, maybe even a quarter (ok half in Sweden) who are attractive. It’s just the way God made the world.
Maybe there is some correlation between beauty and conservatism. Perhaps pretty people don’t have to deal with as much humiliation early in life, and therefore don’t become bitter with resentment. They get dates, get picked for teams, they make out. And the conservatives who are less attractive learn and accept that the world is not fair. They make their peace with God. They don’t become utopians, trying to create a world where they will be loved and appreciated if only they can force the world to flip right side up and be what they want it to be. They feel no need to go work for the Nation. Is it a coincidence that Andrew Sullivan’s liberalism has increased in proportion to his hotness decreasing? Twenty years ago he was a thin, winsome Tory posing in a GAP ad. Today he looks like something making noise after washing up on a San Francisco pier.
Sullivan, of course, brings us to Sarah Palin. Andrew Sullivan’s obsessive hatred of Palin goes far beyond the cynicism of a journalist; there is a kind of primordial spasm of rage against something so marvelously lovely, so downright awesome. It’s like that guy a few years ago who took a hammer to Da Vinci’s sculpting of David. The beauty was unbearable! Palin is an archetype that the left does not know how to contain or control: the hot female jock who also happens to be cool. The left hates good-looking Republican women and jocks, so combining the two is like an exorcist hitting a demon with not only prayers, but water blessed by the Pope.
There’s usually one hot female jock like Palin in every school. It’s a girl who is so stunning that even teachers find themselves staring, yet she is too modest to acknowledge her beauty. She plays it down or changes the subject when someone brings it up. It may be because she was raised with good values, the desire to be humble, but it could also be because she wants to be taken seriously as a jock. Palin is a triple threat: a pretty jock who is also incredibly sexy (pretty and sexy are two different things). In high school she was the kind of girl that the school newspaper nerds – the future Journolisters – despised. Pummeled with so much raw beauty, athleticism and sex appeal – and she’s nice, too, goddamn her – these fearless chroniclers of reality were left sputtering – and seething.
Beauty also offers some explanation of the left’s dizzy crush on Barack Obama. Sweet Mother of Pearl, they said when he arrived, here we have a beautiful man who is athletic and a liberal. And black. It was a Bizarro World from the one they had known their entire lives. It was a chance at retribution for all the Sarah Palins that didn’t go to the prom with them, for every Saturday night spent playing Dungeons and Dragon, for all those atomic wedgies endured in the locker room. It didn’t hurt that they could indulge their white guilt and puff themselves up with moral righteousness by evoking the last thing they were right about, the Civil Rights movement. It’s no surprise that Pillsbury Doughboy Christ Matthews expressed his love for Obama in sexual terms – “I just felt this thrill run up my leg.”
I’m not surprised that there are no female TV journalists on the Journolist. Most of them are just too hot for the list. And this leads to the one exception to the Journolist troll theory. Liberals female journalists can be hot if they are on TV. In fact, they would not be on TV if they weren’t. But in order to compensate for their hotness – not to mention keep their jobs – they make sure to bring the liberalism extra hard. Soledad O’Brien began as a charming Smurf on the “Today” show; now she harangues America for its racism on her endless series of specials about being black/Hispanic/clubfooted in America. Diane Sawyer started working for Nixon, and now she’s all gushing sentiment and gee-whiz lefty emotionalism. Norah O’Donnell, turbo hot, began as a grunt at Roll Call. O’Donnell lost her composure on MSNBC the day Sarah Palin’s book was released. “We have to find out if Sarah Palin IS TELLING THE TRUTH!” she bellowed.
Poor Norah. She wasn’t the hottest girl in class anymore.