Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Darlin' Companion: a mini-rant

I've been doing a lot more of these brief posts lately. It makes me feel more like a Blogger, with a capital B, but I also have a lot more time on my hands. I'm working on a few dense essays as well, but I'm not positive anyone but me misses them. :>D


Let me admit up front that I am a little bit in love with Rachel Maddow, the delightful host of The Rachel Maddow Show, a new liberally slanted news show on MSNBC. I became aware of her because my mother is obsessed with Keith Olbermann, host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which is followed by Maddow's much more compelling show. (I love Olbermann's "special comments," overly articulate, intense bursts of righteous indignation, but they're rare these days and his smugness in the face of Obama's likely victory has started to really piss me off.) Rachel Maddow is incredibly intelligent, incredibly articulate, a mere 35 years of age, and boosting ratings at a startling level for MSNBC, as the New York Times discussed in this article today.

The article doesn't mention that Maddow is an out lesbian, the first lesbian anchor of a major news program (as opposed to, say, host of a talk show). That would be fine with me for the most part; her news program is not about her sexual orientation, and she mentions it only occasionally and in passing, like any old-school anchor might make reference to his perspective or his wife. But at the end of the article Stelter mentions that Maddow has finally purchased a television so that "her companion can watch her program."

Um, "girlfriend" and "partner" are both options here. "Companion" could as easily refer to a seeing-eye dog as a cohabitating girlfriend—it's a ridiculously vague and condescending term, thrown in at the end of the article as if we were expected to miss it. The sentence seems a throwback to the 1950s, or to be generous the 1980s, when you might be aware that a public figure was a homosexual but you nevertheless felt it was decorous or polite to hide it. But this is 2008, and it's fucking ridiculous. Maddow has made no secret of her sexual orientation, Brian Stelter; why do you feel the need to obfuscate it? Who are you trying to protect?


At 11:33 AM, Blogger Connor said...

I agree with you, Gemma, and I'm pretty sure my companion does as well.


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