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The Washington Post: Not Your Personal Therapy Session

poul-kjaerholm_351.thumbnail.jpgIn the category of "stand next to fat people, you’ll always look thin," Lynn Hirshman’s eye-rolling gender basher of an article in the Washington Post’s Outlook section received short shrift for having had the good fortune to be published the same day as Charlotte Allen’s. But as Somerby notes, together they present but the latest installment in a compelling argument that John Pomfret’s tenure at the Post has been something of a grand embarassment:

IT’S TIME FOR POMFRET TO GO: Who on earth is John Pomfret? Since he took over the Post’s “Outlook” section, we’ve repeatedly mentioned the gruesome bad taste displayed in the pieces he publishes. Yesterday, he did it again, with a pair of egregiously stupid lead articles about the role of women voters in the current election.

Are women stupid? Or are they fickle? Pomfret gave you that choice.


No, you can’t get dumber than Hirshman. Which makes her perfect for Pomfret’s “Outlook”—and perfect for a pairing with Allen. Are women stupid? Or are they fickle? That was the choice the Post gave its readers, in a pair of insultingly stupid selections.

Please note: In 1999, many observers dismissed Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick’s final film—but around here, we saw the film differently. We saw it as Kubrick’s study of a certain kind of upper-class elite—an elite which secretly longs to roll back the clock, to return to certain pre-Enlightenment norms and traditions. Indeed: As these Outlook pieces help show, the modern world is crawling with people who want to return to an easier time—a time when silly, stupid stereotypes kept the ladies in their place. The Hirshmans and Allens crawl on our discourse, offering cover for this outlook by virtue of their sex. And people like Pomfret employ them.

But then, Pomfret has made a running joke of Outlook. It’s time for this strange dude to go.

There’s got to be a better way for bitter, self-loathing women with meager IQ’s to make a living than reinforcing the biases and stereotypes of men with want to work their mental health issues out in print. But be that as it may, as Deborah Howell notes, the Post’s circulation is dramatically down on the distaff side. If they’re at all interested in doing anything about it, letting Pomfret go work it out with his COBRA plan on some analyst’s couch may be the healthier option for everyone involved.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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