Tag Archives: Brit Hume

A Guy’s Guy

3 Feb


What a piece of work is a man…  —  William Shakespeare

Monday morning in New York City and the snow is coming down, and just like the wind outside the windows, my thoughts whip and whirl.  Dylan Farrow’s open letter and Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely death snapping like storm tattered rags, their harrowing images of tragedy and abuse a squalid backdrop to the morning’s storm.

And then there’s Chris Christie.

When I was in high school, my brother and I joined the summer track club.  Our favorite part was the distance competition.  At the end of every practice, we could run as many laps as we wanted, on the honor system, and whoever racked up the most laps by the end of the summer would get a trophy.  So we hiked up our striped sweat socks and ran, lap after lap, diligently filling in our running logs all summer long.

On the final day a group of boys, who took off every day the minute the coach was gone, swiped the awards right out from under us, having simply forged their entries.  The coach, embarrassed by our accusations, and short of any proof, let their victory stand.   They jeered as they walked away.  How could we have been so stupid, running a fair race when it had been so easy to cheat?

I think of those little bastards every time I see Chris Christie.    The attitude is exactly the same.  The swagger, the insolence, and the assumption that their dishonesty somehow made them both smarter and more masculine.  Fox’s Brit Hume defends Christie in the same terms:  “I have to say that in this sort of feminized atmosphere in which we exist today, guys who are masculine and muscular like that…run some risks… Men today have learned the lesson the hard way that if you act like kind of an old-fashioned guy’s guy, you’re in constant danger of slipping out and saying something that’s going to get you in trouble and make you look like a sexist or make you look like you seem thuggish or whatever. That’s the atmosphere in which we operate.”

Feminized atmosphere?

“Joe, do you smell that?”

“Yeah, it’s kind of like…gardenias.”

“Wait… what’s going on here, I’m growing breasts!”

“And I want to talk about my feelings!  Good lord, it must be…”


Please.  Men are awfully insecure, and they can get downright silly when they get called on their bullshit. It challenges their unearned prerogatives, and since they can’t defend themselves logically, they start dancing around and saying things like “feminized atmosphere.”

Look, I know lots of guys.  I happen to be one myself.  Go ahead.  Drink a beer.  Watch football. Fart. Tell an off-color joke.  Call your wife “the little lady” if she’ll let you get away with it.   I don’t think it makes you more of a man.  I don’t think it makes you less of a man.  But if you say something sexist, you’ve said something sexist.  And if you act like a thug, then you’re a thug.  And if you’re any kind of man at all, you’ll fess up to it instead of having the blow-dried likes of Brit Hume going on Media Buzz to justify your silly ass.

Which is to say that Christie is dishonest and he’s a bully.  Always has been.  You can spin that any way you want, but you can’t deny it.

So as the snow continues to pile up and the afternoon grows apace, I just want to say that gender means little.  We’re all human, and all flawed.  Some of us struggle to do good.  Others knowingly do horrible things, and then lie about it.  I was going to say most of us are somewhere in the middle, but that’s not true.  Most of us try to do good.  It’s just that the masters of the easy win seem to get all the press.

Pete Seeger said, ““The key to the future of the world, is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known,”  which I have done very little of today.  So let’s end with this:

Tonight I will make my way home through the new-fallen snow, snuggled close against my neighbors on the warm seats of the N train.  I will open a bottle of wine, chop mushrooms, eat a pizza, read to my kids, and fall asleep with my wife.  In doing so, I will lie to no one, I will cheat no one, I will love and protect my children and do no harm to myself.  I will also do my best to help others. Tomorrow I will get up and do it again.  Unless I’ve horribly misjudged all the people I care about in this world, they are going to do the same.

And we don’t need Brit Hume for that.

Safe home.