Oh, boy…if there’s one thing you don’t say to a group of conservative talking heads who are paid to be pretty, it’s “you could stand to lose a few pounds.” And yet, it was this very cardinal sin that Dr. Keith Ablow committed, unfortunately whilst seated among the shortest of short skirts available from the FOX dressing room. And the hypocrisy that ensues…both classic and a fantastically multi-layered cake of pure irony.
The first layer of the irony cake was Ablow’s initial premise on a clip from a previous show: Michelle Obama is or was fat, and she’s got no business talking about draconian new nutritional standards for school lunches. While Ablow’s logical premises are wrong, the logic itself is at least fairly sound. At least in theory, for the sake of discussion. (Though we would argue that people who have lost considerable weight are the only people who have any business talking about nutrition.) Ablow said that even now, the first lady could stand to “drop a few.”
That met with a…let’s call it, possibly disingenuous bit of disapproval and show of solidarity for “junk in the trunk.” The ladies had Ablow back on in this segment to “atone” for his prior comments. They lead it with a viewer Tweet, which criticized Ablow for criticizing anyone when he has “a gut comfortably hanging over his belt.” He acknowledged,
“I probably should lose the last five [pounds].”
“The context was to remind people of the draconian standards set by the first lady and her school lunch program such that the children are throwing their school lunches away. They’re inedible. They won’t eat them…what I was reacting to was the hypocrisy for someone who has…let me phrase it slightly differently…”
Here’s where the phrasing goes wrong. He went onto talk about Obama and the fact that she’s “chosen to be heavier. At this point, a co-host of the shoe who had met Michelle Obama in person commented that they were about the same size. And here’s where things get personal. She (a very thin person) asks if he thinks she could stand to lose five pounds. He responds:
“Should each of us lose five pounds? Probably? Is that terrible? Is that awful? I wish that people who loved me would tap me on the shoulder sometimes and say Kieth, come on…we could all stand to lose three, four, five pounds…”
The response…classic.Now, bear in mind, it’s entirely possible that Ablow is making a general “we” statement about Americans in general, in which case he might be correct. Again, the logic is sound. But the context…well, let’s say he might have chosen the wrong group of four people to include within that “we.”Was his statement misogynistic? Possibly. Was the above statement? Equally possible. Today’s flavor is Irony. But the icing on this cake must be the reaction that his statement garnered, far more vociferous and personal than when he said the same thing about Michelle Obama and himself. Sandra Smith even said:
“Dr. Ablow, I’ll tell you what the bottom line is. Maybe in your future appearances, you should think about what you’re going to say before you say it. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.”
Well said, Sandra! That is a great policy for FOX. And you might have mentioned it to Andrea Tantaros, who said on your show barely a few hours before, that the best way to deal with Muslims was to
“Shoot them in the head.”
That’s nice.But let’s not call anybody fat, now.It might offend someone…namely, FOX’s target demographic.So the grandest irony of all has to be on the part of FOX itself, and not just for this particular instance of cynical demagoguery. Ablow’s statements could be taken as misogynistic. Sure. But when you, FOX, hire detestable people, then put them on a show based entirely around four sets of well-bared legs belonging to female employees, all of whose job applications included bikini pictures from college…well, at some point, you have to stop asking who has the problem, and start asking who creates it.And that’s a big bite from the Irony Cake.