STARTING TOMORROW: Our Townies, Ourselves!


The statements you'll hear in Our Town: The first thing we heard this Sunday morning may have been the dumbest.

It didn't occur during our own unusual sacred hour—the hour we spend at 7 A.M. listening to callers during the open phones segment on C-Span's Washington Journal. 

The first, possibly dumbest thing had been uttered even earlier than that.

C-Span callers were their usual selves during the sacred hour. But the first thing we heard this Sunday morning was uttered on the painful program Fox & Friends Weekends, as seen on the Fox News Channel.

In real time, we weren't sure who had made these dumbest remarks. We'd been listening at the time, not yet actually watching. 

That said, hail Columbia! The Daily Beast's Justin Baragona had heard these same dumbest remarks! He'd even transcribed some of the dumbest remarks—dumbest remarks which had been made by a "former reality star."

As it turned out, the former reality star was guest host Rachel Campos-Duffy, late of The Real World. Her remarks were reinforced by regular Fox & Friends Weekend host Pete Hegseth, who's most fondly remembered for having explained, in 2019, why he hadn't washed his hands in ten year.

On Sunday, Campos-Duffy may have been trying to prove that she's willing to be sufficiently dumb for a regular spot on Fox. Cued by the inexcusable Will Cain, Campos-Duffy offered these remarks, occasioning Hegseth's instant support:

CAMPOS-DUFFY (12/13/20): Yeah, absolutely! That Georgia pipeline thing is really something that

You know, if this had been flipped, if this had happened to Joe Biden, this story would be investigated to the very bottom. You say there's a pipeline that, water—you know, that's why they had to stop, and all of a sudden they go back and they look at the work orders and there was no, there was no pipe that burst, there was no reason to stop the counting.

So you know, I just feel for the president. I see the pain and the frustration. You do everything you’re supposed to do. You run the country well. You campaign your heart out while the other guy is in a basement. And then in the end, fraud and shenanigans at the local level, you’re robbed. And we’ve all been robbed because when the elections don’t go well, when there is fraud, when there is these kinds of shenanigans, we all lose!

Campos-Duffy was feeling the president's pain concerning the fraud and shenanigans. He'd done everything he was supposed to do! While Biden was down in a basement!

With regard to "that Georgia pipeline thing," the former Real World star was referring to comments Trump had made the day before, at the Army-Navy game. He'd done so in an interview with Fox & Friends reality star Brian Kilmeade. Here's how that went down:

Speaking with Kilmeade, the commander had revisited a claim he'd first made in real time, in the first week in November. 

The commander's claim about the pipe that burst had been fact-checked to death at that time. But five weeks later, the commander had brought it up again, and Campos-Duffy, cued by Cain, was totally feeling his pain.

To watch this inanity unfold, just move to minute 23 of the Daily Beast videotape. Cued by Cain, then supported by Hegseth, Campos-Duffy may have topped C-Span's callers in the constant battle to utter Sunday morning's dumbest remarks.

The background to this is daunting:

If you watch the tape of this inanity, you'll be watching another installment of American intellectual / epistemic carnage. According to the leading authority on the topic, a long and winding reality road had brought Campos-Duffy to Sunday morning's program.

In 1994, as Rachel Campos, she'd starred on The Real World: San Francisco. But after that stardom, this:

In 1999, Campos taped Road Rules: All Stars, along with alumni of other past Real World seasons, such as Sean Duffy of the Real World: Boston cast, whom she would later marry.

Campos-Duffy was one of ten Real World alumni who starred in the 2003 film The Wedding Video, a Real World parody centered on the wedding of first season alumnus Norman Korpi.

She thrice vied for a role on the daytime television talk show The View. After Debbie Matenopoulos left the show in 1999, Campos competed in an on-air try-out with Lisa Ling and Lauren S├ínchez. Ling was eventually hired. After Ling's departure in 2002, Campos—who by then held her own "coffee talk" show with other Wisconsin housewives—again competed in a week-long on-air try-out, this time against Erin Hershey Presley and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. In November 2003 Hasselbeck was hired to replace Lisa Ling. In July 2013 when Hasselbeck left The View to replace Gretchen Carlson as the female co-host of Fox & Friends, Campos once again tried out, but Jenny McCarthy was hired to fill the spot.

She'd thrice auditioned for a role on The View, even losing to Jenny McCarthy! Now, she may have been trying to show that she was able to seem dumb enough for a role on Fox & Friends, or possibly on Fox & Friends First, or maybe just Fox & Friends Weekend.

Watching this endless inanity, you're watching American carnage. For ourselves, we see no obvious way out of this burgeoning mess.

Spokespersons for a group of despondent though highly credentialed anthropologists insist that this represents a chance to explore the actual state of our species' self-ballyhooed "rationality." That said, the American experiment, such as it has been, is rapidly sinking into the sea as this corporate-fueled nonsense unfolds.

The analysts groaned and tore at their hair as Campos-Duffy spoke. That said, we'd been walking the streets of our own failing town all through the preceding week.

As you may recall, Our Townies had taken numbers and stood in line to caterwaul about Melania's Christmas decorations. Because they'd done so in the dumbest way humanly possible, we assembled the youngsters and posed an anthropological question about Campos-Duffy's emission:

To what extent does comparable nonsense routinely take place in Our Town?

We noted clear problems with Town and Gown. We told them to listen to Townies.

Donald J. Trump may be dangerously mentally ill, we once again told the analysts. (In Our Town, this obvious possibility cannot, by law, be discussed.) But what about our townies? we asked. And what about ourselves?

Because it's all anthropology now, we ran through a list of examples. It's hard to know just where to begin.

Anthropology can be daunting. By tomorrow morning, we will have made our choice.

Tomorrow: These Townies Today!


  1. Today I started reading Somerby's post with hope -- it seemed he was actually focusing on Fox media instead of trashing liberals!

    But alas, today's effort is mostly an attack on a woman, Campos-Duffy, for daring to try to have a TV career. The nerve of her!!! And instead of actually debunking the nonsense she was repeating, Somerby instead focuses on trashing her.

    And the ultimate irony is Somerby's title today: Our Townies, Ourselves. That is a play on the title of a feminist book published in the early 1970s that explained women's physiology to women -- all the things your mother didn't know and your doctor won't tell you about your own FEMALE body. Because a Victorian legacy of prudery long decreed that women were too delicate to know such things, even when it affected their health, pregnancy and sex lives. Does Somerby think it is appropriate to borrow such a milestone book in feminism in order to trash a woman whose main offense is trying to segue from reality TV into chat-punditry on Fox?

    I totally agree that most of the ginned up anecdotes being used to justify Trump's challenge of Biden's win are pure nonsense, but it is Fox's fault for propagating this stuff. I doubt Campos-Duffy wrote her own script for that show (or any others). But Somerby is apparently in the mood for some misogyny this morning.

    1. No, Somerby was pointing out what a moron she is, not trying to prevent her from having a career.
      She sounds like she would be a good fit for QAnon.

    2. She was no more of a moron than the others on the show discussing the same pipeline burst story. Somerby's recitation of her background implies that her previous work makes her more of a moron -- he supplies it as evidence when it is nothing more than someone trying to succeed in her business. Maligning her and not the others is bigotry.

    3. anon 11:14, it is also pretty clear that, since you find (constantly) fault with TDH, and that TDH is a male, that you hate men. How else can it be explained? It's simple logic.

    4. Your thesis would have some merit if I attacked a variety of men for trivialities and never rarely attacked women for the same kinds of things. And also if I quoted other people who are known to hate men. Also, if I sought out men (going about their jobs) to attack instead of criticizing some man inviting comment on his blog. And if I used gendered terms and stereotypes to attack him.

      I certainly dislike Somerby. I have said before that I wouldn't talk to him for very long at a party. He isn't my kind of guy. I have expressed a liking for various men, not Bernie, but others, unlike Somerby who has recently attacked both Hillary and Kamala Harris, our party's nominee and now VP-elect.

      There is more to sexism than just criticizing someone. Somerby has displayed a pattern of behaviors that add up to a diagnosis. I haven't.

    5. Who needs discourse when an asshole like AC/MA likes to come around and drop his little trigger bombs. Pieces of shit like AC/MA is why we can't have nice things. Fuck off AC/MA with your pathetic toxic male insecurity.

    6. AC/ MA is against treating males equally to others in society, because that's "identity politics".

    7. Anon 7:06 - whoa Nellie! My point was that just because TDH criticizes a woman does not prove that he is misogynist. The logic of anon 11:14's post seems to be just that. It looks like a got (get) under your skin. You shouldn't be so sensitive. Maybe respond with logic and evidence instead of invective.

  2. Somerby is highly selective when despairing over inanity and identifying carnage. When it was Kavanaugh's frat boy antics that were under discussion, where was Somerby? Worrying about the veracity of his accusers, not decrying the stupidity of the things men do when they are together in groups drinking beer.

    But Campos-Duffy is single-handedly responsible for the decline of American civilization, because Somerby's fictional anthropologists said so. Shades of Eve consigning Adam to the hell of the real world! Somerby is in despair today because women are all so stoopid!

    Did I mention that Somerby is an asshole?

  3. I can't believe that Campos-Duffy said stupider things than those callers on C-Span.

    It is clearly a mistake to ascribe the stupidity that can be found in dark corners of our culture to the entire populace. Somerby thinks even the most educated and intelligent humans are also too stupid for words, based on his regular attacks here on professors and experts.

    I get it that human beings are imperfect (according to Somerby's standards for them), but compare humans to other species and we are doing pretty well. Compare us to dogs, for example, who managed to enslave themselves to us for table scraps and a pat on the head. We are much smarter because we have a sense of time and are not color blind. There may be aliens on some other planet who are better than us, intellectually speaking, but why is that a cause for despair? It seems Somerby deliberately seeks out examples of the silliness some people engage in, some of the time, and then moans over humanity's failings. If he excludes himself from those laments, he is engaging in some pretty obvious ego-enhancing at other people's expense. Like when Donald Trump calls other people names to make himself feel better.

    I would call Somerby a misanthrope, except he generally attacks women and gives men a pass, especially Trump (who he excuses as mentally ill). He can't blame anthropology for his own world view. Anthropologists choose that discipline because they like people, in all of their varieties, across time and place. The more you know about people, the more fascinating they become. I've never met an anthropologist in despair over humanity, the way Somerby pretends to be. Ascribing his own mental state to them, maligns anthropologists. He needs to see a shrink and talk this out, the sooner the better. Malaise often gets worse around Christmas.

    1. Anon, no dogs are more intelligent than humans. You are a doggist.

    2. bears ahead of humans on the food chain, but that's no reason for Somerby to despair

    3. As most pet owners can attest to, we humans are the slaves.

  4. Somerby has highlighted Jenny McCarthy's name. Why? Is he perhaps confusing her with Melissa McCarthy, who he was griping about the other day for daring to be on a silly best actor list in the NY Times that she didn't even compile herself?

    It doesn't take much to get on Somerby's bad side, if you are female. Why doesn't he just come out and say what he is thinking -- women are ruining the human race with their stupidity and making anthropologists weep!

  5. “she may have been trying to show that she was able to seem dumb enough for a role on Fox & Friends”

    The “others” who view that show don’t think of it as dumb. Campos-Duffy is probably smart enough to know the truth about the water pipe story. Even Somerby isn’t sure though.

    The question is, why does Somerby focus on Campos-Duffy, a second-tier personality, when he ignores the major stars on Fox like Hannity, Carlson, Ingraham, Dobbs, et al, and even the hosts of Fox & Friends, who are far more powerful and are spreading vast amounts of misinformation to their viewers? What about the network itself, which airs this stuff in the first place?

    Besides, if he’s trying to show that “we” (liberals) are as bad as “they” (conservatives), he hasn’t yet. Negative opinions about Melania’s Christmas decorations just aren’t in the same category as the lies of Aldrich (from Friday’s TDH) or Campos-Duffy.

    1. mh, I for one vote that you start your own blog called the "Daily Howler Howler"

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