Friday, February 16, 2007

My Other Favorite Jersey Girl

Malkin, having recovered from her experience with public speaking in the sixth grade. (Photo: Linda Davidson, The Washington Post)
Malkin, having recovered from her experience with public speaking class in the fifth grade. (Photo: Linda Davidson, The Washington Post)

Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin is the subject of a piece in The Washington Post today.

"She's a very tough lady," says Bryan Preston, her business partner in the daily video blog Hot Air. "You've never met a happier person than Michelle when she's in the thick of a fight. She enjoys the combat of ideas."

I'm a regular follower of her right-wing yahoo site Hot Air, and have seen her on The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News. Now, I don't agree with everything she writes. That book where she defends the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II, is a bit of a stretch (and the subject of another post; someone else's, not mine). On the other hand, it is to her credit how she connects a lot of dots in the public square, that many in her age group (or any other age group for that matter) don't have the guts or savvy to do.

She would appear to evoke sympathy because she is a young conservative and non-Caucasian. She should have tried being a young conservative in college in the mid-70s like I did, and see if she would have gotten half the accolades she has enjoyed today. Not that she didn't earn her stripes, mind you, but I can assure the former Miss Maglalang that the playing field began to level in her favor by the 1980s, or Reagan would never have been elected twice. What's more, most Filipino Americans I know who don't stray far from their roots tend to be very conservative, both socially and politically. No stereotype-breaker here, kids.

There are also those who say she's not a true journalist since she didn't pay her dues, but went straight to the opinion column career track. Something like that. One guy I read -- hey, I'm just relating here; you decide -- observed that she failed to ever 1) write an obituary, 2) cover a fire, or 3) cover a local election -- the supposed rites of passage for any practicioner of the craft. Of course, I don't even know if that's true. But even if it were, neither did I, and my readership is growing by leaps and bounds among the unsuspecting. (For the record, I'm not a journalist, I'm a writer. It's a distinction I've learned to live with.) Maybe some people have something to say that's worth dropping everything to read, ever stop to think about that? Besides, you don't see anyone from the Post whining about how Ana Marie Cox (the original "Wonkette") got where she is today, do you?

Keep it up, Mrs Malkin. A girl could do worse.

[H/T to See-Dubya of Hot Air. UPDATE: The Post article ends by Malkin describing hers as a "lonely existence." A poor choice of words, albeit a rare occurance. Her existence is precarious, perhaps, and even then by her own choosing. No, "lonely" is when her kids get uprooted after she breaks the Big Exposé. Here's hoping for their sake she's not too successful.]

5 Comments:

At 2/16/2007 11:55:00 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

One guy I read -- hey, I'm just relating here; you decide -- observed that she failed to ever 1) write an obituary, 2) cover a fire, or 3) cover a local election -- the supposed rites of passage for any practicioner of the craft.

So she's a commentator, and not a journalist? Boo hoo! I'm supposed to stop reading her commentary, which she does well, because she hasn't done something else I don't care about?

Given what I get from most journalists, I consider a journalism degree and experience as a mainstream journalist as dis-qualifiers when when choosing someone to write commentary.

 
At 2/17/2007 11:12:00 AM, Blogger David L Alexander said...

Paul:

The idea, I suppose, is that anyone of a particular craft should achieve some standard of competence in order to be able to practice credibly. Such was the idea behind the medieval guilds, and is still practiced in some trades today.

With journalism, it is the ability to have the facts straight, and get to the point, to inform the reader as opposed to merely persuade them to your point of view, assuming yours is even an issue. Some reporters today would probably have trouble covering a fire, having given in to their indulgence towards the "spin," and the cable news channels are riddled with talking heads whose only credentials are a pretty face and a wardrobe. Under the circumstances, we are left only with the truth, and the confidence that it wins out in the end. Those who learn to write well, and who possess the self-discipline to defer to the truth above all else, are the ones who gain respect for that reason. I admire Malkin's work, but I don't think she's a victim, and she sure as hell doesn't live a "lonely existence." What she is, is a woman who got a few really good breaks early in her career, and was smart enough to make the most of them.

But I don't feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for her kids, who wonder what their Mom said that makes people want to hurt her. I feel sorry for the husband, who must lay his protective instinct aside, and allow his wife to pursue her passion.

I say, more power to her, but don't cry for her.

 
At 2/19/2007 10:38:00 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Your post title made me wonder where in NJ Mrs. Malkin is from. She grew up probably no more than 45 minutes south of where I grew up. She was born just under 6 months after me. She got married the same year as I did. We have the same number of kids.

I think the big question here is this:

Why does Michelle Malkin want to be so much like me?

 
At 2/19/2007 11:21:00 PM, Blogger David L Alexander said...

Malkin was born in Philadelphia, and raised in Absecon, New Jersey, several miles inland from Atlantic City. (She actually used a press photo with big hair once. A beehive, I think they call it. That's a Jersey thing, ain't it?) About that other thing, I just assumed every woman wanted to be like you, Christine. They just won't admit it.

 
At 2/20/2007 11:31:00 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Yeah, I wasn't born in Jersey, either. I was born at Fort Bragg, NC. I grew up in Toms River, NJ, which is roughly an hour north of Atlantic City. Maybe a touch more.

I think that big hair was just the 80's thing. You should see my graduation day pictures. It was hard to tease those bangs up around the mortar board!

About that other thing, I just assumed every woman wanted to be like you, Christine. They just won't admit it.

Now that sounds like my husband talking. ;)

 

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