Apparently, Spin Sisterhood is powerful.
I’m an ardent reader of the Washington Post’s Book World, possibly the best book review section in the country.
But I felt that Myra MacPherson’s review of two new books on women Easter Sunday was a tad unbalanced.
A tad? I’m too nice. Unlike MacPherson, whose worldview was forged during (and remains stuck in) the 1970s, and whose reviewing style was worthy of Genghis Khan.
The two books under consideration were Myrna Blyth’s Spin Sisters, a look into the liberal bias of leading media women, and Laura Flanders’s Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species.
MacPherson was as blunt and primitive as the title of Flanders’ book implies that any gal who likes GWB is. Blyth’s book is, in MacPherson’s view, “a screed,” while Flanders’s is a “serious” book. Indeed, I do believe Ms. MacPherson’s perspective can be easily summed up as: Me Not Bushwomen, Me Spin Sister.
“Flanders turns her outrage to the ‘con job’ that the women in Bush’s inner circle foster,” MacPherson writes. “Her densely documented and important thesis is that female figureheads of the Bush administration, such as Lynne Cheney (an IWF founder), Condoleezza Rice, Karen Hughes and Elaine Chao, rose to power as beneficiaries of the civil rights and women’s movements, then cynically pulled the ladder up behind them. Now, she charges, these women eagerly provide cover and spin for extremist domestic and foreign policies that mock Bush’s persona as a compassionate conservative. Quoting [David] Brock, she puts them in the context of “a highly profitable, right wing Big Lie machine that flourished in book publishing, on talk radio and on the Internet.”
Leaving aside the fact that some people might not consider Brock the most quotable guy in town, I’m amazed at MacPherson’s character assassination of the “Bushwomen.” Of course, it’s a caricature, but worse than just being on the other side, MacPherson seems to feel that people who disagree with her on foreign policy or the best way for women to achieve success are somehow guilty of a “con job.”
While MacPherson designates Ann Coulter, Peggy Noonan, and Kate O’Beirne “right-wing sisters,” she is offended that Blyth has dared to call certain well-known women in the media liberals.
“But neutrality rather than toughness or advocacy is what characterizes Blyth’s chief examples, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer (who, as even Blyth notes, once worked for Richard Nixon),” MacPherson writes.
I should also note that Ms. MacPherson goes after the Independent Women’s Forum, making the usual ham-handed charges about our positions and our funding. She singles out and sneers at several of our long-time supporters.
Like George Soros would be better?
But she is right about one thing — we at the IWF are high on Myrna Blyth’s book, and we hope you’ll mark your calendar for our book event, April 21, in her honor.