Meanwhile, Salon—good God: Rachel Maddow made an unfortunate accusation/insinuation on Wednesday evening’s program.
Truth to tell, her accusation/insinuation doesn’t make seem to any sense. But she slimed it out there anyway. When scandal culture takes control, you need a new claim every night!
Long ago, Chris Matthews almost got somebody killed this way. Tomorrow, we’ll run through this latest piece of slime from his highly self-indulgent, not especially honest colleague.
In the meantime, Salon: Good God!
We refer to this pitiful piece by young Nico Lang. For once, Salon’s headlines provide a reasonably accurate synopsis:
Our figure-skating obsession: Why America loves watching women fallThat’s right! America, or its media culture, loves seeing women fall and get torn apart! This is the passage where Lang voices his daring theory:
American media culture loves watching women torn apart, and figure skating is no exception
LANG (2/20/14): At the Winter Olympics, figure skaters rule the games, dominating press coverage and media attention. Female figure skaters become household names, whether due to victory, as in the case of the aforementioned Lipinski, or infamy, like Tonya Harding, whose scandal proved irresistible tabloid fodder, dominating gossip rags for years. The details are Olympic legend: The 24-year-old Olympic hopeful allegedly hired her ex-boyfriend and bodyguard to attack competitor Nancy Kerrigan, bruising her leg with a baton. After healing from the injury, Kerrigan would go on to place second, while Harding finished in eighth. Despite not actually winning the event, both women are more widely remembered than Kristi Yamaguchi, who actually won gold in 1992. The two short program broadcasts in 1994 pulled in Super Bowl-size viewership, averaging over 70 million viewers.You’re right. It’s hard to tease an argument out of that Salonistic mess. But Lang does manage to say that we have “a national obsession with watching pretty young women fall from grace.”
Harding and Kerrigan were the perfect example of our national obsession with watching pretty young women fall from grace. Figure skaters are so mesmerizing to American audiences in part because they’re consummate athletes whose sport also performs traditional femininity. A skater is everything a woman is taught to be, graceful and elegant, an ethereal figure reduced to the very fact of her body. She can seem more than human, almost angelic, until the moment she is brought down to earth. Ashley Wagner’s “bullshit” reaction to her lower-than-expected score last week perfectly broke that fourth wall. In that moment, she became human again. The result lives on in GIF form for all eternity.
Do we have such an obsession? In Salonistic fashion, Lang makes no attempt to present any evidence in support of his daring claim. He simply made his daring assertion and Salon let his foofaw flag fly.
The interesting part of this piece is found in its comments. It’s almost like Salon is inventing a new literary form.
We don’t think we’ve ever seen an article where virtually every comment notes how amazingly dumb the article is, often doing so in very articulate fashion. It's like Salon is teaching people how to read by challenging them, again and again, with world-class examples of groaning illogic or unsupported claims.
They’ve almost created a new literary form, the scathing pushback comment. (We refer to the first several dozen comments.)
It’s stunning—and disorienting—to see the unrelenting dumbness of the work at the new Salon. Lang graduated from DePaul in 2011. Reading Salon, we see the strange truth again and again:
The kids are not all right.
Meanwhile, coming tomorrow: Maddow’s latest rather unholy con.