The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Who Wants to See Tina Korbe’s Thighs?

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!

Finally: Don’t get me started on “equality,” Atilla.

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:

Is Blogger’s Short-Skirted Video
An Illegal Campaign Contribution?

UPDATE III: “Subject to Misinterpretion,” a necessary response to criticism, deserved or otherwise.


  • MrMichael

    Dude, the jokes about bad drivers is only funny if the teller is not a known bad driver.  If Bill Cosby had a fistful of tickets and a reputation as a bad parking lot threat, he could not pull off that joke.

    Along that vein, any snark or negative commentary from this blog immediately brings up the Rule 5 issue.  Really… any blog that seeks traffic by posting photos of scantily clad beauties just cannot be taken seriously when they complain about… a scantily clad beauty.

  • Wombat_socho

     Who’s complaining?

  • ThePaganTemple

    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.

    Yet I get edited out for telling the truth about homosexuals. Physician, heal thyself.

  • AnonymousDrivel

    “Who Wants to See Tina Korbe’s Thighs?”

    I only come here for the articles. And the forum. But definitely not for the… wait, what?! Did you say cleavage, bellybutton, and hoo haa?

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  • ThomasD

    1.  That skirt is not too short, if you are the hostess at a men’s club.

    2.  How else is she going to get that big Fox News gig?

  • ThomasD

    So, the larger point here is that HotAir is less about the issues and more about the eyeballs.

    Gee, who knew?

  • Garym

    Tina Korbe is a beautiful girl. I see no problem, short of hiking up her skirt and performing a lap dance, with showing the assets to get noticed. Just because we are conservatives, doesn’t mean we have to ascribe to the stereotype of being prudes.

  • robertstacymccain

    The “larger point,” really, is that human nature is predictable, including the fact that everybody loves a pretty girl.

    “Rule 5” — you could look it up.

  • EBL


  • Bonnie

    Gorgeous, modest skirts that fall to the knee and would be acceptable to Catholic nuns hike up when seated.

    Since you menfolk don’t wear skirts around here, let me remind you that men’s suits are worn with knee high socks.  Why?  Because when you sit down your pants hike up until your ankle and calf is exposed.

    The only way to prevent this with women is to wear a pencil skirt that falls to the calf and that’s what I do after the unfortunate platform interview of ’09.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

  • EBL

    Who knew Allah and Ed had a probably say in hiring Tina Korbe in the first place!  Do you think looks played a roll in that?  

    That is not to say Tina is not very qualified.  She is and I think she is a fine addition to HA. They need to let her do a few interviews and not just show her legs.  I like Tina’s articles and they need to give her some experience doing interviews.   Ed could have done that interview alone and it would have been higher  and tighter framed and better.  Or Tina could have done it alone with the same results.  The framing, single camera and distracting noise could have been mitigated by that.  That would have resulted in losing the Tina Korbe thigh shot but it would have resulted in a better video.  

  • EBL

    The over nodding of her head.  A few pauses on questions.  That stuff is learned.  They need to focus on some basic TV coaching.  She has a good voice, she is pretty, and she is smart.  She can be a very fine interview person.  They need to develop that talent.  

  • robertstacymccain

    “And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”

    Oh, please tell us more!

  • Adjoran

    Back in the early days of TV, all the news talent had newspaper backgrounds, except for a few like Cronkite, Garroway, or Swazye who had made a rep in radio.  Not a looker in the bunch, but that was when the focus was news, getting it fast and getting it right, and the news ops were expected to be money-losers and the suits upstairs didn’t care.

    Ah, yes, I remember it well.  But face it, man, these days even newspapers don’t hire newspapermen.  On TV and the web, it’s all about the revenue, which is based on traffic.  The average viewer/visitor has been programmed against in-depth reporting, having grown up on the 30-minute newscast formula:  two world stories, three national stories, interspersed with a few headlines and the market final, and a heartwarming or amusing final puff piece.

  • Roxeanne de Luca

    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.

    A redhead, every time.

  • Charlie Martin


  • Ab

    I wanna see Ed’s thighs!

  • Jim Nicholson

    For the record, I’m a lot more offended by the fact that Rick Santorum is in the picture than I am by Tina Korbe’s skirt. 

  • Mike55_Mahoney

    I think she’s wearing a one piece outfit that she pulled up to cover cleavage. I mean, there’s tons of lady camo there. Its a tough call she had to make. But as you can see, Santorum is tall and may have dropped an eyeball if she hadn’t made that adjustment. She saved him from public embarassment.
    Tina, if you’re reading; nice gams.

  • ThomasD

    Er, that’s what I said.

    The only difference between Rule 5 and Hotair’s hiring of Korbe is that the pin-ups and poster girls are quite clear about the actual purpose of their appearance on the site.

  • ThomasD

    It is not prudish.  Prudish would be objecting to overt displays of female beauty as overt displays of female beauty.

    It is simply the observation that Hotair prioritized eyecandy over established journalistic excellence.

    NTTAWWT – just that it places you once step closer to Entertainment Tonight on the information spectrum.

  • Zilla of the Resistance

    If you are a young beautiful girl with great legs, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a short skirt. I think she looks nice.

  • McGehee

    Who Wants to See Tina Korbe’s Thighs?

    <slowly raises hand>

  • ang1196

    Tina’s work on HA never rises to the level of Ed’s or AP’s. It is occasionally childish and embarrassing. She may well have the  potential, but to showcase her work now is neither good for HA or her. 

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    She could’ve gone with a touch longer skirt, but she’s pretty conservatively and tastefully dressed.  Next time she’ll likely do better.

    Now, about the tattoos: I used to judge people with ink in a blanket way, but after getting work designing them I’ve come to the realization that people who get tattoos fall into many various categories and can’t really be generalized.  Some people are just really serious about their ink, and some of the work is really beautiful.  The drunk college co-ed or frat boy that goes down and gets the a** antlers  or armband at the 3rd rate shop on the mall strip on Friday/Saturday night is likely not serious about the ink (and I’ve seen really good artists do their best to talk them out of it too, so there’s that).

  • jones.barry

    It’s okay for conservative women to be attractive. It’s even okay for them to wear skirts that are above the knee. As a conservative male, I encourage this sort of thing. Provided the lady has the gams for it, of course.

  • robertstacymccain

    I wanna see Ed’s thighs!

    You sick, twisted freak! There’s not enough brain-bleach in the world to eradicate that mental stain!

  • richard mcenroe


  • DetroitRight

     for real.

  • NeoKong

    3 Fingers above the knee I was told.

  • William Quick

    Godwin’s a lefty moron, and his “rule” is idiotic.

  • Chip Jones

    I’m going to stay out of the hyperbole, and just recount a vignette. Sitting at a table in the coffee/lunch buffet place in the Wardman lobby, the Senate candidate for whom I work looked up at a group of women (all in their early 20’s) who walked by in dresses (obviously expensive) that sported about 90% of their thighs standing up. His question to me, “What’s your take on that?”  My comment, “MY daughter wouldn’t get out of the house looking like that.”

    ‘Nuff said.

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  • Doc Clear

    Well excuse you for noticing the fact of life.  Good looking girls get all the good jobs.  Ugly girls have to work twice as hard as good looking ones.  I realize the hotties have deluded themselves into thinking they were the best for the job and yes that’s true because let’s face it, a hottie brings up everyone’s morale except the ugly girl and who cares what she thinks anyway.  Ok, it’s wrong for me to say ugly girls because really it’s just the non hot ones.  That doesn’t make them ugly, it makes them dating and marrying companions.  Regular girls are used to it.  Everyone knows it but somehow you’re wrong for pointing it out.  Me, I’d rather hire a regular girl because I wouldn’t want to have to keep trying to avert my eyes every damn time I talked to her.  Which brings us to Tina’s thighs.  They look nice. 
    It seems as if everyone but Tina realizes why she was hired and that’s usually the way it is.  See, hot girls are used to doors being opened and people doing stuff for them.  They don’t even have to work it, it just happens naturally.  So when a Hot Air paid spot opens up and she miraculously plops into it, she thinks she really ‘earned’ it.  Really?  What was she blogging about before joining Hot Air?  How much real insight does she really bring in her posts?  I’ve just started going back because I was gone during the Cain Hate fest.  Really, I only go for the updates.  There really isn’t any in depth blogging or really even snark anymore.  It’s a news aggrigator site now.  

    I’d say she thought it was an awesome skirt and she knows she has some nice assets.  What she probably didn’t expect was to have to sit in front of cameras that day.  As soon as she sat down you can see in her eyes (if you can get past her thighs) that she knows she made a mistake.

  • lorien1973

    What. I wanted to see Ed’s thighs, too.

  • Charlie Martin

    And, not to put too fine a point on it, I’m up for the peep show of her hoohah too.

    As others have pointed out, the originator of Rule 5 and Sarah Palin Naked doesn’t seem to have a lot of room to complain about a short skirt.

  • Darcy

    NOT. Gentlemanly.  At all.

    Awful post.

  • Habakkuk4711

    Count me in.

  • ThePaganTemple

    I’m watching it now, I think she did a good job what I’ve seen so far. She asks good questions, about him appealing to Middle America and how he’ll stay connected to them if he’s elected, how will he appeal to “millenials” on such matters as entitlement reform, etc. Get your eyes up above her waist, you horn dogs.

  • DaMav

    Tina obviously brings Teh Hawt but she’s also got a lot of insight and points to make.  I read her regularly over there and am thrilled to see her conservative cred growing.  Anyone not receptive to seeing such pulchritude prolly has the dread same sex genetic condition, but don’t miss the cerebrality topping off the delicious cake.

  • Wombat_socho

     Too late, we already got your eyeballs, and you can’t have them back.

  • Wombat_socho

     All this and brains too, you say? 🙂

  • Wombat_socho

     Pfeh. She hates us anyway.

  • Jeff Gill

    It’s just that, when you put “thighs” at the top of the article, it apparently makes your Google Ads go in a direction that really undermines anything else you’re trying to say — or was I the only one to find that ironic?

  • DaMav

    Your comparison ought to take into account the relative age and experience of the players.  I think Tina’s work is growing by leaps and bounds and she has the potential to be a superstar.  I’ve been a long time HA participant and I think she’s a credit to them and vice versa.

    I’m not looking for a tussle, just pointing out that she’s got serious fans

  • DaMav


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  • Joy W. McCann

    Oh, well played.