Ask Matt Labash
American singer Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009) performing on stage, 1988. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images) American singer Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009) performing on stage, 1988. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)  

Ask Matt Labash: Michael Jackson’s kid-touching, Herman Cain’s blonde problem, and Rick Santorum’s rope-a-dope

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Matt Labash
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      Matt Labash

      Hi, welcome to “Ask Matt Labash.” I’ll be your host, Matt Labash. The idea for this column – if idea isn’t too strong a word – is that it is not a column at all. Rather, it’s a conversation. One in which I do ninety-five percent of the talking. If you did most of the talking, you’d have to watch my eyes go dead and my attention wander until it was my turn to talk again. So trust me, it’s better this way.

      For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I’ll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I’d have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil’ Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.

      This is not, you should know, a mere advice column. If you need advice, I’ll give it. But the only rule here is that there are no rules. You can ask me a question about anything that’s on your mind: current events, pop culture, media, theology, string theory, fishing tips, wicker repair. The only limits we have are those of your imagination. And those of my knowledge base. Which is considerably limited, truth be told. So try not to ask me anything that requires research. Though they tell me I have access to Google on this computer if we need it.

      If all goes according to plan, ours will not be a traditional writer/reader relationship. It’s more complex than that. I might empathize or cajole. I might educate, instruct, or inspire. I might pretend to answer your question while actually reporting you to Social Services, since you’re a dangerous person who should not have contact with children. I might tell you to climb up on my shoulders, that you’re not heavy, you’re my brother. Or I might tell you that you are heavy, and that you should hop down until you lose a few pounds. I might just sidle up behind you, put my big strong man hands on the small of your back, and whisper in your ear the words of the poet, Kenny Rogers: “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”

      To which you’ll say something like, “I can’t, I’ve got to go home and wash my hair.”
      To which I’ll say something like, “Shhh. We’ve got tonight babe, why don’t you stay?”
      Wherever this takes us, our journey begins now:

      <i>Matt Labash is a senior writer with The Weekly Standard. His first book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Fishing-Darth-Vader-Evangelical/dp/1439159971">Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys</a> will be published next month by Simon & Schuster.</i>

Editor’s Note: Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here

Dear Matt, do you care about the Michael Jackson verdict? – P. Hilden

I would’ve cared a lot more if it had been a “guilty” verdict, convicting Michael Jackson of touching trusting children below the belt. I understand Michael Jackson grew up around all sorts of horrors: an abusive father, a pet rat named “Ben,” La Toya. But none of those things are an excuse for a grown man to have slumber parties, then to use children as his personal sock puppets. So I wasn’t exactly overcome with grief when his doctor put him down. Just because you’re the King of Pop doesn’t entitle you to such behavior. If you want to get away with those kinds of shenanigans, you should at least go through the proper channels by getting a job at the Vatican or becoming a coach at Penn State.

I am male. I have never met Herman Cain, nor has he ever acted in an inappropriate sexual manner towards me, ever. I would like to start a group of persons that have not been harassed by Mr. Cain (although it appears as time goes by that it would be a rather small group). Would you consider joining? I’m having trouble finding members.  – Ron K.

Will there be snacks and a liberal-media-bias discussion group? I would love to join. But can’t. Herman Cain once grabbed my ass. I didn’t say anything about it at the time, however, since it was consensual after the fact. I’m not proud, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for his big, strong man hands. He kneaded me like Godfather’s deep-dish dough.

Matt, So much has been made of the fact that Herman Cain hits on blonde white women.  Does blonde mean whiter?  -  Janice K.

Wow. I’m so glad you sent this. I was just sitting here thinking that it’s been ages since a reader sent a racially-loaded question that would earn me enmity and sacks of hate mail no matter how I responded. So this is quite the godsend.

Now that liberals and conservatives alike are in a rolling death-match to jockey for victimhood status, crying racism or sexism every time there’s a news development that displeases them,  allow me to join in the bad-faith fun by suggesting that the Herman Cain blonde-woman critique is the perfect victimhood hat trick: it’s racist, sexist, and hair-ist.

Yes, some commentators like MSNBC’s Toure, a pundit of such prowess that he doesn’t even require a last name (or is it a first name?), say such things as, “It’s yet another blond white woman who’s accusing him of doing and saying things that are inappropriate. The instinctual fear in America of black men being sexually inappropriate or dominating with white women is very, very deep. And when is this going to start to come out? People start to feel this on a deep level. ‘This is wrong. He keeps going after our women. We don’t like this.’ That is going to definitely {be} a problem.”

As of yet, however, there is no evidence that purportedly racist GOP voters, despite Toure’s sage predictions, are feeling the need to guard their white women. Quite the opposite, in fact. Ann Coulter, a white woman, has called Cain’s treatment at the hands of liberals a “high tech lynching.” (Coulter will see your Mandingo allusions, and raise you some Klan imagery, Toure.) And according to a USA Today poll, a full 42 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they’d consider supporting a candidate who’d been proven to have sexually harassed employees. So that ought to prove how open-minded the GOP electorate is.

Which is cause for Democrats to go apoplectic, so long as they can feign amnesia about how they behaved during news of Bill Clinton’s alleged rape of Juanita Broaddrick, and his other assorted pawings. But charges of racism and sexism aside, hair-ism has reared its bottled-blonde head. Cain detractors refer to accuser Sharon Bialek’s blondeness to amplify the Toure stereotype of the African-American predator coming for your virginal white daughters. While to Cain partisans, Bialek’s blondeness is pejoratively referenced, intended to connote licentious sluttiness, on-the-make-ness, flakiness,  etc. It’s much the same way, in fact, that Clinton defenders used to defame his paramours like Gennifer Flowers or Dolly Kyle Browning.

If Bialek’s charges are accurate, and as of yet, no proof has been offered to suggest that they aren’t, the blonde slurs are unfair. Not only to Bialek, but also to Herman Cain. Yes Bialek is blonde, and yes, Cain’s other known accuser, Karen Kraushaar, is blonde as well, though more on the dishwater side of the color spectrum. But getting back to your original question, it’s way too premature to allege that Cain only targets blonde women. Until the rest of the accusers show their hair, we cannot rule out that Cain likes brunettes,  too. And it would be hair-ist to diminish their whiteness when they haven’t even yet spoken. They very well may, in fact, be even whiter than Bialek. So let’s be fair to all parties, and not put the cart ahead of the horse.