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A dirty mainstream, part 2

Yesterday I recalled Anderson Cooper’s invocation on CNN of an advanced sexual practice involving oral sex to derogate the widespread popular resistance to Obama. David Shuster on MSNBC and Cooper on CNN invoked the “teabagger” epithet against anti-Obama protesters. I’m not sure which one of them might deserve the pride of authorship. In any event, the epithet immediately caught on among the left-wing media and pundits. in the case of MSNBC, the same obscene teabag “joke” was repeated 51 times in a 13-minute segment.
Last night I attended an event at which New Yorker staff writer and CNN senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin was featured as the keynote speaker. I thought if I was going to suffer through Toobin’s talk on the Supreme Court, I’d at least ask him about Cooper’s vulgarity regarding “teabagging.” Running into Toobin at the reception before his talk, I asked him what he thought of the episode.
Toobin responded that the epithet was used by the Tea Party protesters to describe themselves. I said that was false, that they referred to themselves as Tea Partiers and protesters or the like. I said that the Cooper had brought it up when interviewing David Gergen. Referring to the search for a Republican voice after two electoral shellackings, Cooper smugly observed, “It’s hard to talk when you’re teabagging.”
Toobin professed shock. The whole episode was purportedly news to him. He did not defend it, saying only that it was uncharacteristic of Cooper.
Last week in the New York Times, Maureen Dowd devoted a column to Mary Cheney, Liz Cheney and Dick Cheney. Early in the column Dowd gratuitously referred to Mary Cheney’s homosexuality. Dowd noted parenthetically that Mary Cheney “is expecting her second child with her partner, Heather Poe[.]” Down’s column is entirely derogatory, and she did not inject this note in order to extend her congratulations. Indeed, the purpose of the parenthetical regarding Mary Cheney was obscure.
Referring to a sexual practice featured in pornography, Dowd had titled her column “A daisy chain of Cheneys.” (For those who need help picking up Dowd’s little japery, the Urban Dictionary helpfully defines the term “daisy chain.”) The reference to Mary Cheney’s sexuality simply had to be there in order to help those who may have forgotten about it to discover the sick joke for which the article’s title is the punch line.
Via reader Jason Hodge.

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