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April 13, 2012

NOW Prysydynt: Ann Romney Doesn't Have the "Life Experiences" or "Imagination" To Understand Real Women

Video at Newsbusters, if you can hack it. Quote:

What would we be saying if Hillary Clinton [sic] had said this: that Ann Romney has never, has not worked for pay outside the home a day in her life? That's my understanding that's an accurate statement, and that raises the exact issue that Hilary Rosen was trying to get to, which is do Mr. & Mrs. Romney have the kind of life experience and if not, the imagination, to really understand what most American families are going through right now?

There are two kinds of appeal.

First, an intellect-based appeal that one's policies will favor targeted voters. And rival policies will hurt targeted voters. I don't agree that NOW's policies will favor anyone, but they can make the argument.

The second appeal is emotional/empathetic and claims "I'm just like you. I understand your problems. Without even getting into policy details, you know you can trust me, because I'm just like you and I understand you."


The attacks on Ann Romney are largely being made on that second basis -- she "hasn't worked a day in her life." (She's different! Don't you hate her?!) She lacks "life experience." (She's not a full woman like us! Don't you hate her?!) She lacks "imagination." (Her choice to be a dumb stay at home mom has cramped her mind! Don't you hate her!?)

This second line of attack is even weaker than the intellectual one, though. Because, I ask you:

What does the president of NOW, a media gadfly making (spitballing) over a half a million dollars per year, know about the "struggles of average families just trying to get by?"

If this woman was ever struggling -- and I doubt she was; these organizations tend to be headed by the idle rich or at least those so comfortable they can volunteer for years without a salary -- it's been a very long time since she's struggled.

So what does she know of "the struggles of average families"? Did she read a White Paper on it?

Diane Sawyer was asking on Twitter what questions she ought to ask Mitt and Ann Romney.

I was annoyed, because Diane Sawyer is the Queen of Soap Opera Acting Empathy. It annoys me to no end that these Morning "News" Women employ the cheapest and most obvious of soap opera acting techniques -- the heroically squinted eyes, the weary low voice, the sad shake of the head, as they ask their "empathy" questions, like "Mrs. Romney, do you get it? Do you understand that women are hurting?"

Squint, weary whisper, shake of the head.

What does Diane Sawyer know of it? When's the last time she "struggled"? She is a millionaire in her own right (and has been forever) and is furthermore married to a Hollywood director (Mike Nichols).

Mrs. Romney, do you understand the struggles of an average housewife like myself when her husband's film Regarding Henry receives poor critical reception and underperforms at the box office?

A long time ago I read some media critic -- in TVGuide, of all places; this was literally 30+ years ago -- noting that newsmen (they were once all men) attempted two different types of personas: The Hero persona, in which the newsman attempted to project empathy and a common touch and, well, a heroic commitment to fighting, and the AntiHero persona, which is not well-named at all, but was basically a persona in which the newsman kept emotional distance from the news and just read it straight.

Although there are plenty of male "Hero" anchors and reporters, this tendency is especially pronounced in these Morning Personalities.

And it's a deception. It's false. These are soap opera tricks of the crudest sort engineered to up one's Q Rating (likability) and thus one's Nielsen ratings.

Diane Sawyer is a fraudulent woman.

When she goes through her soap opera routine of the head shake, the squint, and the weary voice, I wish to God someone had the balls to ask her how much her apartment cost, and if she paid cash for it. (Guess-- Over $3 or $4 million, and yes, she almost certainly did.)

Diane, what do you know of struggling? Are we supposed to believe that because you squint, shake your head, and use a stagey low weary voice that you've suddenly transformed into Luka (I live on the second floor)?

It's just patently dishonest, and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.

$10 Million? A commenter says her apartment is valued at $10 million, and she bought it from... Robert Redford.

And he's right.

So yeah, let me see that friggin' head-shake and weary squint, Diane.

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posted by Ace at 12:14 PM

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