Remember the picture?
The one with Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America,” as a legendary CBS anchor bare-chested and in a Speedo bathing suit, posing as his, um, bulge bulged just underneath his portly bare belly?
Surely you didn’t miss NBC and later ABC anchor David Brinkley shirtless in cut-off jeans? Or Barbara Walters in the skimpiest of bikinis?
How about Megyn Kelly’s multiple poses in a skimpy black something, staring in sultry fashion into the camera with her blonde locks tumbling over her naked shoulders as one hand is posed in the act of removing a strap from one of those naked shoulders, leaning forward to reveal lots of, um, cleavage?
Actually, there are no pictures of news anchors Cronkite, Brinkley and Walters as described. There is, however, exactly the photo described of Ms. Kelly, as seen here when the Fox News anchor posed as described for GQ magazine. In fact, google “Megyn Kelly-GQ” and there is a whole raft of photos of Kelly in that black skimpy something as she struck various hot photos for Gentlemen’s Quarterly and an accompanying article found here.
And as often recalled, there was Kelly’s memorable conversation with radio’s Howard Stern. In which the conversation went this way as reported by Newsmax:
Megyn Kelly Talks With Howard Stern: Breasts, Penises, Sex
Megyn Kelly may have suggested that she was turned off by Donald Trump’s sexist remarks, but that didn’t stop her from rollicking with Howard Stern, discussing her breasts and her husband’s penis size and engaging in some graphic sex talk.
Stern has been accused of being tough on women, such as in 2013 when he called “Girls” actress Lena Dunham “a little fat girl who kinda looks like Jonah Hill, and she keeps taking her clothes off, and it kind of feels like rape.” He also is known for having women remove all their clothing during his radio broadcasts while he ogles and describes them.
In a 2010 interview, the Fox News star laughed with glee as Stern talked about her breasts.
“We used to call them ‘Killer B’s’ then when I got pregnant they became ‘Swimmin’ C’s’ and Doug was frolicking in the ocean,” Kelly said of her husband, author Douglas Brunt.
Stern asked whether she would have considered not marrying Brunt if his penis had been small.
“I reject the hypotheticals. There’s no issues there,” Kelly said, laughing. “I’ve never had to choose. Let’s put it that way.”
She also talked about having sex with Brunt even while she was pregnant — into the third trimester.
With this in mind? With this in mind, it certainly appears that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was dead-on right to say to anchor Kelly in their now famous showdown: “You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy.” She may well care about public policy, but by putting herself well out there in, as it were, photo and verse not as an anchor but as some sort of would-be sex symbol who loves to talk dirty on the radio Kelly made it all too easy for Newt to say that, well, yes, she does in fact have a fascination with sex.
Suffice to say, while I have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly as a journalist — she is without doubt a good journalist — and she is said to be a nice person — she has also made herself emblematic of American elites and their confused, some would say bipolar, attitude towards women and sex.
On the one hand, American elites once celebrated Hugh Hefner and his Playboy empire, with all manner of elites showing up at the Hefner manse for encounters with a veritable mini-convention of Playboy bunnies. Then Anita Hill steps forward and in a blue-nosed second they wheel around and lecture piously that “women tell the truth” about sexual harassment. A lecture that lasts a political nanosecond until the accused is a liberal white guy named Bill Clinton and everything from rape to sexual assault is dismissed as “only about sex.” Now busy berating Donald Trump, they gave a pass to the late Senator Ted Kennedy when he was accused in graphic terms of sexually assaulting a waitress together with fellow Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, now an oh-so-acceptable big time Washington lobbyist. And into this mix comes Ms. Kelly herself, one minute advertising herself as “fascinated by the protection of women” while at another appearing half-naked in the pages of GQ when she isn’t talking dirty with Howard Stern.
And the response to Newt is to chastise him for his marriages? Give me a break.
The other day the Washington Post ran this jewel headlined (with bold print supplied):
Republican women increasingly fear party is alienating female voters
And why is this so?
A growing number of prominent Republican women are worried that as members of their male-dominated party step up to defend Donald Trump against accusations of sexual assault, they are causing irreparable damage to the GOP’s deteriorating relationship with female voters.
Trump has faced questions throughout his campaign about his crass comments about women, but concern escalated this month following the release of a 2005 video in which Trump boasted that he had sexually assaulted women and subsequent allegations by 11 women that Trump had inappropriately touched or kissed them. A series of mostly male Republicans have come to Trump’s defense — dismissing the accusers as liars and, some worry, further alienating the female voters that the party desperately needs to survive.
“For next-generation professional women, the party is going to have to do something very, very drastic to change the course of where this candidate has taken us,” said Katie Packer, a deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012. “I think the leaders in our party are going to have to aggressively reject this. Come November 9, they better be prepared to make very strong statements condemning all of Trump’s behavior.”
The article goes on to quote GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina as saying “Donald Trump does not represent me or my party.” This, it must be said, is the same Carly Fiorina who told Sean Hannity on his radio show that:
“…with regard to the Clinton Global Initiative, yes, I went and spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative on two occasions. On one occasion, I was asked by ‘Meet the Press’ to debate President Clinton on the stage. I was happy to do so.
“And in the second instance, I went to lead a panel on entrepreneurship. I thought it was important to do that, because Democrats are trying to claim that they are the party of small business and entrepreneurship; and every policy they pursue, crushes small business and entrepreneurship, and I thought the audience needed to know the other side of the story.”
Got that? There is Carly Fiorina happily appearing with Bill Clinton, the latter accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment by a slew of women. And she happily agrees to a joint appearance with Clinton, in which she was totally silent about his behavior. Fiorina isn’t the only Republican with this double-standard, either. Note well that the Post also quotes Katie Packer, correctly identifying Packer as a “deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012.” Mysteriously, Packer’s concerns about the treatment of women when her candidate, Mitt Romney, agreed to address the Clinton Global Initiative when he was the GOP nominee in 2012 somehow vanished. Did Packer quit her job in protest? Did she say something along the lines of “Mitt, the man is accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment — you simply can’t lend your name to this”? No word. Did Packer quit her job in protest? No way. She was silent as the proverbial church mouse.
Yet again it is crystal clear that American elites — Republicans in the case of Fiorina, Packer, and Romney — are, like Kelly, suffering from what can only be called “sexual schizophrenia.” So utterly confused on the subject of sex that they will excuse their association or that of their candidate with Clinton but sniff in Ruling Class fashion about Trump.
Also in this Post article is this:
Christine Matthews, a Republican pollster, said in an interview that Democrats no longer have to push a “war on women” narrative because it’s playing out on its own thanks to Trump — and comments like those that Gingrich made on Tuesday.
“It’s just one more clueless middle-age-to-older white guy taking to task a woman,” Matthews said. “It’s so unhelpful on every level.”
Well aside from the racism and ageism in that statement — aka “identity politics” — Matthews seems to have a short memory of the Clinton impeachment episode. Here is the New York Times on a poll of the day, which is to say December, 1998. The headline:
IMPEACHMENT: THE PUBLIC; Polls Find Most Americans Still Oppose Impeachment and Now Frown on the G.O.P.
Reported the Times, bold print for emphasis supplied:
The remarkable divide between the American public and House Republicans has not budged even after the House Judiciary Committee’s votes last week recommending the impeachment of President Clinton. Overwhelmingly, people do not think Mr. Clinton should or will be impeached this week, the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll shows.
The survey tracks closely with those of several other polling organizations in recent days, as well as with the findings of academics and politicians who say they had been struck by how public views have stayed so fixed over so many months.
But one perceptible shift is that the polls found that in moving toward impeachment, the Republican Party is soiling its image and is being perceived as driven by partisan politics.
Sixty-four percent of Americans, including a majority of independent voters, said they did not want their own Representative to vote for impeachment, according to the Times/ CBS News Poll. And 53 percent said they had an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, the highest negative rating since early 1996, shortly after the Federal Government was shut down in a stalemate over the budget.
In other words? The GOP in 1998 did exactly what Fiorina, Packer and all manner of Republican women are saying — in this case targeting the sexual predator in the White House and moving to throw him out — and the poll says that in doing so the GOP “is soiling its image and is being perceived as driven by partisan politics.” And note well that the Times reports on women who were furious for impeaching Clinton over his sexual behavior, quoting one woman as saying: ‘‘I’m embarrassed to think how ridiculous our country looks in the eyes of the world.’’
Is it any wonder there is sexual schizophrenia abroad in the political world? The fact of the matter is that when Republican men — in this case the Republican men running the House in 1998 (which included Newt Gingrich as Speaker) — did exactly what some of the Republican women of today are advocating in this Washington Post article, they were excoriated as a bunch of blue-nosed Puritanical partisans. And the GOP took it on the political chin. Instead of gaining seats as expected after six years of a presidential administration, they lost five seats. The first non-presidential party in a similar situation to do so since 1934.
Thus burned — and you can bet there were large numbers of Republican women supporting Clinton — Republican men are now expected to start lecturing Donald Trump?
Yes, Newt Gingrich was indeed right to say that Megyn Kelly, she of the GQ photo shoot and Howard Stern show, is fascinated by sex. In fact, Kelly is not just fascinated by the subject, by her actions she has become the very embodiment of the sexual schizophrenia that afflicts American society at large and a number of Republican women in particular. One moment men need to loosen up and understand that “it’s only about sex,” while the next they are being primly lectured that to give a pass of the kind given to Bill Clinton and the late Ted Kennedy (he of the sexual assault infamously known as the “waitress sandwich”) constitutes a GOP “war on women.”
So which is it?
In truth, I don’t think Megyn Kelly has a clue, nor do any of the GOP women quoted in the Post article. And at this point? With the Supreme Court up for grabs for a generation? With ISIS roaming the world and plotting the destruction of America? (Not to mention raping and killing women.) There are a lot bigger concerns than what Donald Trump said in private on a bus over a decade ago. And, based on that experience in 1998, whatever he may have done in private with any woman.
But if not? Then in fact the Republican women in this article should be getting their act together to defeat the woman who is quite specifically accused of bullying a rape victim and, if elected, would bring the most famous sexual predator in the world back to the White House with her.
Will they do it? Megyn Kelly couldn’t even bring herself to call Bill Clinton a sexual predator.
So clearly the answer is no.
Which says everything you need to know about just why Newt Gingrich was right.