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Shame on you, Stephen King!

December 7, 2009

I just read my Entertainment Weekly Best of the Decade issue that came out this week. Within that issue is semi-regular columnist “The Pop of King” Stephen King, a novelist of whom I usually have the utmost respect. He has worked hard in the industry, has suffered great personal tragedy, and is married to a dynamite author, Tabitha King, whose work is pretty damn awesome; if you haven’t read any, you should. But I digress.

This column was titled “The Best TV of 2009.” He proceeds to list, in descending order, his top ten shows. So what has gotten me all fired up? Did he include women on the list? Oh yes, yes he did. In fact, I think it’s how he describes the women that has me hot under the collar. Here we go:

#8. The Rachel Maddow Show: “As Keith Olbermann inflates into a dirigible of outrage (not without reason), Maddow grows more insightful.” Okay, good so far. “She’s smart, amusing, and willing to look at both sides of political arguments.” Great, even better. “It doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty in a no-nonsense way.” Oh my god, are you kidding me? Uncle Stevie, for shame! Is this your not-so-subtle way of saying she’s a lesbian? Who the fuck cares? Maddow rocks. She’s a strong, smart voice of reason in our male-dominated broadcast news culture and no matter what your political leanings, we as women applaud her (or should if you don’t) for the heights she has reached as a professional woman.

Now, I did take a step back from my ire and look at the big picture. If Maddow was a not “pretty in a no-nonsense way,” would she be in such a position of power? Perhaps she never would have been encouraged to pursue broadcast news in the first place, if it was strictly a case of looks only, as she’s not your gorgeous cookie-cutter perfect usually seen with female broadcasters. But thank God she was encouraged! Thank goodness she (presumably) had the support of great parents, teachers, and mentors who told her that it was her brain that mattered, not her looks and certainly not her sexual preference; which is, by the way, the lesson I am teaching my children, ages ten and four.

The rest of King’s list is, as expected, male-dominated. I mean, he IS a guy (House, 24, Sons of Anarchy) though he did include props for Glenn Close in Damages, Mary Lynn Rajskub (“as delightful as a wedge of lemon in a glas of iced tea”–at least I think that’s a compliment?) and Cherry Jones, both in 24. Of course, his number one choice is the Emmy-winning Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad, which is, to be honest, a show I haven’t been able to get into myself.

So there you have it. What do you think? Should Maddow smile shyly and thank King for the compliment to her… looks?

Hmmm…If I’m not mistaken, he didn’t call Bryan Cranston hot.

3 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Rachel Maddow is pretty good as a commenter, but I am sorry to say she looks like a tranny. I am not saying this to be mean: it has to do with the Adam's Apple and the extremely large hands (like Allison Janney's Big Hands).

    Keith Olbermann is some times good, sometimes WRONG, sometimes over the top. He used to be a SPORTS ANNOUNCER, folks — yes –as on ESPAN.

    HE is NOT a political science professor. and it shows. Don't know what Rachel Maddow did before she came into the spotlight at MSNBC. She is way better than Spencer …(forgot his name). It is not Spencer Abrams, because he used to be Sec of the Treasury, right?

    Anyway, you get my drift

  2. To Anonymous: My point exactly; well, kinda. How well a person (in this case Maddow) does their job should have nothing to do with their looks or sexual orientation. I believe that's called discrimination.

    But it does, unfortunately, especially when that person is on TV. I just feel King demeaned her by even mentioning her looks, and in a way that you know he thinks was a compliment; or if he HAD to go that route, then he should have mentioned the looks of all the actors on all the shows…which would have, of course, been ridiculous.

    Which of course he didn't do. Guys generally don't call other dudes handsome, unless they're, ya know…

  3. Anonymous permalink

    giltfree blogspotter:

    It's true that whenever a man (Stephen is at least part man/perhaps part Demon..)…that MAN will make a remark about the woman's 'looks.' Even if the woman is a MSNBC political analyst, World Bank Chief Economist, whatever.

    That is because men think with their
    ___s.

    Still, even non-sexual persons, such as myself (I am a former nun)…still sometimes find myself making inappropriate remarks

    Like 'Rachel Maddow looks like a Tranny.'

    Most of the time I tend to agree with her political views but not always. At the times I do not…I think about how much her big hands and her Adams Apple bother me.

    Sincerely,

    Anonymouse

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