New York Times columnist Charles Blow may be their leading purveyor of irony — of the unintentional variety. Jim Geraghty and Hugh Hewitt both caught this missive from Blow’s Twitter feed, in which he slams Mitt Romney for his concerns over the eruption of children born out of wedlock in the past 50 years and what that means for American society. In response, Blow slams Romney’s religion, telling him to “stick [his concerns] in your magic underwear”:
Geraghty points out that the entire media world just became unhinged over a copy editor’s gaffe at ESPN in writing a headline for Jeremy Lin:
We just witnessed ESPN firing an employee for using the phrase “chink in the armor” in a headline about the New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin. While no one could prove a desire to mock Lin’s ethnic heritage, and the employee expressed great regret for what he insisted was an unthinking lapse, it was deemed unacceptable even as an honest mistake. Regardless of what one thinks of ESPN’s reaction, one is left to marvel at the contrast before us. Would the New York Times find it acceptable if one of their columnists chose to mock Muslim religious practices? Jewish faith practices?
But mocking some religions is okay? Doesn’t run afoul of any standards of the paper?
Hugh Hewitt devoted two posts to this, the first also drawing the comparison to ESPN’s situation:
Blow has long been understood to lack talent, but that he was a bigot is news to me and I suspect many of his readers. Geraghty wonders if the Times will be as severe with Blow as ESPN was with its headline writer. Not a chance. Anti-LDS bigotry, like anti-Catholic bigotry, is acceptable among hard left elites.
He then got Romney’s reaction to it, which was mostly to dismiss it as part of the normal media bias:
HH: Governor, I’ve got to start with something that’s mildly distasteful. Last night during the debate, New York Times columnist, Charles Blow, tweeted the following: Let me just tell you this, Mitt “Muddle-Mouth”, I’m a single parent, my kids are amazing, stick that in your magic underwear. Now I know you’re not surprised by hostility from the New York Times, and I know you’re not surprised by anti-Mormon bigotry. But are you surprised by anti-Mormon bigotry in a New York Times columnist’s tweets?
MR: That is a little surprising, I must admit. I guess we’re finding out for the first time that the media is somewhat biased.
HH: (laughing) But do you expect, a lot of people worry that if you’re the nominee, and increasingly, it looks like you will be, that the Obama campaign, operating with the mainstream media, will unleash a lot of anti-LDS stuff on you? How are you preparing for that, Governor?
MR: You know, I don’t think that will be particularly helpful for their cause. The truth of the matter is they’ve got a lot of ways to attack our nominee. They’re going to make their attacks on a personal basis. They really have a hard time defending President Obama on the basis of his economic record, on the basis of his foreign policy record, particularly given the developments in Iran, as well as just mismanagement of Iraq and Afghanistan. So they’re going to make personal attacks. I think it’s going to wear very, very badly, and the American people are not going to line up for that kind of, if you will, divisiveness and demonization of fellow Americans.
For me, I’m less outraged by Blow’s comment than amused by it. How exactly does one demand that Romney stay out of his personal life while at the same time attacking and mocking his religious beliefs — especially one that, in the case of Mormon garments, have nothing at all to do with public policy? That’s not just outrageous, it’s hypocritical and idiotic, too. Even Blow seems to have realized that much; he apologized for the comment today.
But that was far from the only idiocy in Blow’s Twitter feed at the time. Blow was apparently incensed over the Republican opposition to the HHS contraception mandate, and offered this bit of political advice:
I hate this Republican hypocrisy on sexual issues. Want to tell you what to do while they’re privately tap dancing under a bathroom stall…
Mind your own vagina. Don’t have one? Well, that should inform how much you have to say abt the health choices of those who do.
Tell me — does the New York Times or Charles Blow have any grasp of this issue at all? Republicans have argued all along that contraception should remain a private choice. No one has argued to restrict access to contraception, and as the long-term CDC study shows, no one has trouble accessing contraception now. None of the Republicans have even suggested reducing Title X federal funds, which provide assistance to poor women seeking contraception.
The HHS mandate forces employers to provide contraception for free. In other words, it’s people like Blow who want employers to reach into their pockets and make the genitalia of their employees a corporate matter rather than a private matter. Democrats and New York Times columnists want to pretend this is about privacy, but it’s actually the opposite — government forcing employers to be responsible for funding sexual activities of their employees. On top of that, Blow then implies that the only people who can legitimately discuss and debate the issue are those without a Y chromosome, even though the policy forces everyone but the woman involved to pay for her contraception.
Heck, Blow and the New York Times don’t understand democracy, let alone this issue. It’s ironic that it’s Republicans that want to stay out of people’s underwear, and Blow who seems obsessed with it, but it’s not the only irony in this story.