Posted on | February 16, 2012 | 101 Comments
The title of this post is not a hypothetical question, because last week the aforesaid Miss Korbe joined her Hot Air colleague Ed Morrissey for a video interview with Rick Santorum, which I didn’t see until somebody brought it to my attention yesterday:
Our keen-eyed readers will note that at the 0:28 mark of the video, Miss Korbe gives a little tug at the hem of her skirt and, not to get all Melissa Clouthier about it or anything, some folks might say that’s kind of a telltale clue that your skirt’s too doggone short.
OK, so how this came to my attention: Tuesday I blogged about Melissa’s criticism of the dress and behavior of some young ladies at CPAC and, as I said, I wanted to be responsible without being too judgmental. That is to say, I hesitate to judge a lady’s morals merely because she feels obliged to follow contemporary fashion.
For example, I think tattoos and pierced bellybuttons are two of the tackiest things in the world, but I’m pretty sure not every woman with tattoos and a pierced bellybutton is a whore.
Most of them? Sure, but not all of them.
Similarly, short skirts and exposed cleavage do not necessarily signal that a woman is up for some action with any dude who’ll give her the price of another hit of methamphetamine. It is true that many hookers dress that way, but not every woman who dresses that way is a hooker.
Or even a Maine College Republican.
‘A Peep Show of Her Hoo-Ha’?
Anyway, my responsible-but-not-judgmental post was linked in a roundup on the CPAC decorum controversy at “Thoughts and Ramblings,” whose proprietor suggested that this was in response to a post he’d done earlier, in which he said, “Tina, you are a Catholic, try actually dressing like one,” and accused her of giving the Senator “a peep show of her hoo haa.”
That went too far, I’d say. It was judgmental to the point of being irresponsible. And while I didn’t realize it when I saw the link yesterday, the proprietor of that blog has kind of a history here, of which he has since reminded me.
But I don’t want to get all into that now. What I want is to clarify that while my sense of humor is not universally appreciated, I mean no harm, no matter how offensive my jokes sometimes are. I’m pretty sure Steven Crowder and his (haawwtt) fianceé have figured that out by now.
Jokes work when they refer to truths that others recognize. We laugh at an observational comedian because he calls to our attention, in a humorous way, something we may or may not have previously noticed, but which causes us to laugh in recognition.
Back in the 1980s, when cable television began bringing to our homes a constant stream of stand-up comics, I remember kind of scratching my head in puzzlement when they’d do jokes about the bad driving habits of Asian women. Because I’m from Atlanta, and we didn’t have a large Asian population, these jokes by West Coast comedians didn’t provoke the laughter of recognition. Then, in 1997, I moved to D.C. which has a fairly large Asian population and . . .
Oh, my God! It’s so true!
Look, I hate to foster negative stereotypes. I’m sure there are many Asian women who are excellent drivers. It’s just that none of those excellent Asian women drivers live in the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C., area.
And everybody who lives in D.C. is laughing their butts off at that joke, because it’s so true. (Asian ladies, please: Take the bus.)
The reason I have risked denunciation by the Asian-American Female Motorist Anti-Defamation League is because it relates to my own history of offensive humor in regard to Tina Korbe and Hot Air.
When Hot Air first advertised that it was planning to hire a new blogger, I immediately smelled a rat.
Nobody advertises jobs like that, because the world of conservative New Media is still small enough that everybody pretty much knows who’s who. Hot Air is a sufficiently prominent site that there is no shortage of people who would crawl through broken glass and scale a 12-foot fence topped with razor wire for the opportunity to work there full-time. So if Hot Air wanted to hire a third blogger, all they’d have to do is send a few e-mails or make a phone call or two, and they’d have plenty of experienced bloggers to choose from.
The Cruel Charade
Something was extremely fishy, then, when a friend called to tell me he’d seen a “help wanted” ad from Hot Air posted in an online D.C. jobs-bank forum. My friend asked if was I planning to apply for it.
Obviously not: I was already a Green Room contributor, and if Hot Air wanted to hire me full-time, they didn’t have to place an ad. Ed’s got my number, I said. He could have called.
This was obvious enough, and I thought about all the other Green Room contributors – including a few friends of mine — who were also obviously about to be passed over for this full-time gig. Believe it or not, some of them actually applied for the job, although I knew that the mere fact that Hot Air was advertising this opening meant that the Green Room contributors (all of them) had already been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Shortly after my initial conversation with that friend, one of my fellow rejects from the Green Room called to talk about the advertised job, and I predicted, “They’re gonna hire a chick. Somebody with the ‘face for Fox,’ a candidate for the Red Eye leg-chair they can use to ‘brand’ the blog.”
The only other possible explanation, I said, was that corporate policy at Salem Communications (which had bought out Hot Air in 2010) required them to advertise the job opening. But even then, the prior existing relationship with Green Room contributors would have been a big enough loophole in such a policy that if there were a Green Room contributor they’d wanted to hire full-time at Hot Air, they wouldn’t have placed an ad.
There was something distinctly fishy going on, I told my fellow reject, and this job advertisement was just a charade. The fix was in.
Both my friends applied for the job anyway and never even got a call or an e-mail in response. And when it was announced that Hot Air had hired Tina Korbe, former assistant to Heritage Foundation’s New Media Director, Rob Bluey, my cynicism was amply vindicated.
So I Tweeted a couple of snarky remarks about it (I’ve forgotten what I said) and was profoundly offended when someone responded by accusing me of being jealous (!) of Tina Korbe. (I previously recounted this tale in August: “Discrimination Against the Ugly? Expect a Class-Action Lawsuit by Smitty and Me.” Also see, Jerry Wilson’s June item, “How to Become a High-Profile Conservative Pundit.”)
Look: I’d never even heard of Tina Korbe until her name was announced as the new blogger at Hot Air. Didn’t know her from Adam’s housecat, and she’d been hired for a job that I had made a point of not applying for. Exactly how I was supposed to be “jealous” of her is something I’d love to hear someone try to explain.
Rather than being jealous, I was angry about the cruel charade by which at least two of my friends (one of them a Green Room contributor) had been led to believe they had a shot at being hired full-time by Hot Air when — as I had immediately deduced when the ad was posted — they never had any chance at all. Exactly how many other people got their hopes crushed by that process, I don’t know. People don’t generally go around talking about jobs they applied for but didn’t get.
Nevertheless, despite the righteousness of my indignation, I regretted having publicly snarked about Tina Korbe’s hiring. My comments were unseemly and apt to be misinterpreted, but I just had that don’t-give-a-damn attitude that comes over me when I’m angry.
Bad Jokes and Hot Tempers
Complete cynicism is not an impenetrable armor, and even when you fully anticipate that the world will work exactly the way the world always works — “Them that has, gets,” as a downhome saying expresses it — there are times when even the most predictable outcome produces a sense of helpless frustration.
And, yeah, I’d have hired a chick, too.
When Hot Air started, their cachet was the connection to Michelle Malkin, and even after she scaled back her direct participation in the site, she was still “The Boss.” So after they sold out to Salem, having the blog as an Ed-and-Allah sausagefest involved a loss of some of the prestige they’d previously had. Ed’s done Fox a few times, but Allah’s a recluse, and if they wanted a “personality” to add to their brand, it only made sense to hire a telegenic young woman.
So I couldn’t really complain, you see. Even if I had been personnel director of Salem Communications, I would have had to tell my buddies, “Sorry. We’re hiring the blonde chick.”
Or maybe a redhead.
At any rate, the point of telling all that was to explain that I am entirely sympathetic toward people who are temperamentally disposed to say offensive things, or to push it too far. The thing about being “edgy” is, you never find out where the line is until you cross it and the million-pound sh*thammer comes crashing down on your head.
If you manage to survive the impact of such an incident, it should be viewed as a valuable lesson: Congratulations, you’ve found out where the line is located.
So it is with me, and so it should be with the proprietor of “Thoughts and Ramblings,” toward whom some of my friends say I’m too forgiving. (No one ever tells me I’m being too hard him.) I’m trying to be helpful and constructive. And to be told, in response, that I am “too much of a f–king coward” . . . Well, that’s neither helpful nor constructive, and I’m at a loss as to how to fix the problem.
Hey, Patrick: I’ve got a hot temper, too. My temper causes me almost as much trouble as my sense of humor, but however unfair people’s reactions may be, it’s still my responsibility to deal with my own side of the problem, because I can’t control other people’s reactions. I’m throwing you five links in one post — with “Tina Korbe’s Thighs” in the title, so it’s unlikely to be ignored — as a gesture of goodwill. Because I have no more reason to hate you than I have to hate Tina Korbe, or Ed, or Allah, or anybody else. And considering how often I’ve been accused of “hate,” and how much I’ve suffered on account of such accusations, I think you should ponder the significance of this gesture.
Also, you should ponder that Tina Korbe recently got engaged. Her fiancé is, I’m sure, a very nice person. Or maybe he’s a 6-foot-9 violently jealous maniac with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do who’s likely to hunt you down and pound you into a coma. Either way, you might want to ponder the location of a line somewhere between “your skirt’s too doggone short” and “peep show of your hoo-ha.”
Just sayin’ . . .
The cruel charade that preceded Hot Air’s hiring of Tina Korbe was not Tina’s fault and, despite my unseemly snark about it, she has been entirely courteous and friendly toward me. During CPAC, as a matter of fact, she posed for a photo with a buddy of mine, Jason Mattera:
Jason has always appreciated my sense of humor. So when Jason finds himself pursued by a 6-foot-9 violently jealous maniac with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do . . . ROTFLMAO!
Inequality is not always disadvantageous to women, you know. And feminism is a sort of Animal Farm, with women as the animals who vanquish their male/human oppressors, only to discover eventually that some animals are more equal than others.
UPDATE: Lisa Graas has a religious mediation on Tina Korbe’s thighs, while Bill Quick incurs a Godwin’s Law penalty by accusing me of being a “Skirt Nazi” – ! — although I prefer to describe myself as The Friendly Fascist o’ Fun.
And of course, welcome, Instapundit readers!
UPDATE II: Now a Memeorandum thread, and I’m pleased to announce that we now have an answer to the titular question. Who wants to see Tina Korbe’s thighs? About 3,500 readers in the first 51 minutes after Professor Reynolds linked us. And considering that Tina was interviewing The Next President of the United States, her thighs were displayed for a worthwhile cause.
Next? SkirtGate! I can see the headline now:
UPDATE III: “Subject to Misinterpretion,” a necessary response to criticism, deserved or otherwise.