January 21, 2014

Whose leg felt that thrill?

The NYT book review of Gabriel Sherman’s biography of Roger Ailes, "The Loudest Voice in the Room," is written by Janet Maslin, who trashes the book, but not because she likes Ailes. It's that Sherman failed to get the goods on Ailes.

I just want to focus on one sentence:
The second half of “The Loudest Voice in the Room” is mostly devoted to recent and familiar news, beginning with the moment Fox began getting thrills up its leg over Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky debacle. 
Come on. MSNBC owns the expression "thrill up my leg." Even though the Bill-and-Monica story had lots of sex and Fox News may have been eager to cover it, the eagerness didn't arise out of a vector of thrill going toward the groin. The journalistic enthusiasm described as a "thrill up my leg" came from Chris Matthews and he was titillated not by anybody's sexual activities but by the speechifying of Barack Obama.



That's on the list of nominees for most ridiculous, embarrassing thing ever said on a TV news show, and we're never going to forget it. Have at Fox News, perhaps by mocking some schoolboy furtively masturbatory outburst if you can, but if you talk of thrills up a leg, that leg is attached to MSNBC.

Etymological sidenote: The original meaning of "debacle" — used above in the phrase "getting thrills up its leg over Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky debacle" — was, according to the (unlinkable) OED "A breaking up of ice in a river; in Geol. a sudden deluge or violent rush of water, which breaks down opposing barriers, and carries before it blocks of stone and other debris." The figurative meaning is: "A sudden breaking up or downfall; a confused rush or rout, a stampede." Yes, it's a dead metaphor, but it goes nicely with blowjobs, don't you think? Not that Bill ever was icy.

32 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

I don't believe Fox News Channel had much market penetration at the time of the Lewinsky scandal. Most of the larger cable carriers had to be dragged kicking and screaming to carry it in its first few years. FNC first debuted in October 1996 so I doubt Maslin's claim can stand up to hard scrutiny.

tim in vermont said...

I don't know. Chris Mathews was one of Bill Clinton's harshest critics regarding the whole Monica thing. I always thought that his huge shift left was in atonement for it. Hardball on MSNBC used to deal dirt on Clinton every night at seven.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So analogies to ex-wives are out, but schoolboys are fair game.

Oh, and for the record, I am that schoolboy.

Michael K said...

"Tales of their Ohio childhood plant the Aileses firmly in the working-class conservatism to which Fox News would later speak,"

The only line that sounded genuine. She doesn't understand that it also speaks to middle class but then she doesn't know anyone who is middle class.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

The NYT is trying to normalize the expression so they can say "leave Matthews alone because everyone says it!"

chuck said...

The NYT is trying to normalize the expression

I suspect Maslin is just ignorant. Most liberals I know are studiously uninformed and live surrounded by the equally clueless.

traditionalguy said...

Trying to make Roger Ailes into a monster seems like a hopeless project. MSNBC has met their match.

Maybe they can call him a narcissist for being so good at his job.

Fen said...

"I don't believe Fox News Channel had much market penetration at the time of the Lewinsky scandal."

I don't remember it back then, and I was following the scandal very closely.

Whats ironic is that, unlike every other MSM hack that was whitewashing the scandal, Chris Mathews was actually asking the tough questions. He was my primary source of breaking news on it.

tim in vermont said...

Fen, I remember it that way too. I wonder what the relationship of Hardball to Hillary will be?

Geraldo, who is now on Fox, used to have a show on MSNBC and he used to defend Clinton.

Fen said...

FOX didn't show up on my radar until the 2000 recount. And that was because they were the only network presenting the other sides story.

Fen said...

Tim, do you remember it that way too? I'm trying to pinpoint when FOX "came of age" in the market.

rehajm said...

The NYT is trying to normalize the expression

I read it as liberal confirmation of the ridiculousness of MSNBC.

garage mahal said...

That's on the list of nominees for most ridiculous, embarrassing thing ever said on a TV news show, and we're never going to forget it.

Matthews also gushed about how manly George Bush looked wearing a flight suit during his Mission Accomplished stunt. Hard to top that.

Bob Somerby has chronicled the nuttiness from Matthews going back to the mid 1990s.

As you read this Hardball transcript, note the astounding immaturity of Matthews and Caddell, who might as well just go on TV and play with their G. I. Joe toys. We’ve now reached the point where our millionaire pundits will spend entire segments on national TV discussing which candidate looks good in a flight suit. And don’t fail to notice the slimy behavior when Hillary Clinton becomes the topic. A sad-but-true fact emerged long ago; Chris Matthews, at heart, is a thigh-rubbing man. When will Americans tell this strange man that he simply must stop discussing our female public figures in this slimy manner?

READ EM AND WEEP: On Thursday night’s Hardball, Ann Coulter and Pat Caddell joined Matthews for a lively session of clowning. They discussed who looks good in a flight suit, and whether Bill Clinton would rather fuck Coulter or his own wife. For amusement purposes, watch Caddell try to have it all ways about Bush. If your stomach is strong, just click here.
Link.

tim in vermont said...

I wasn't watching Fox yet at the time of the recount. I was getting most of the news on it from the internet and the fact that I lived in Palm Beach County at the time and actually knew people who were attending those protests.

SteveR said...

AJ Lynch is correct.

ronalddewitt said...

Can I infer on the basis of your etymological note that water impounded behind an ice dam can be called a "bacle"? On a similar point, what would be liberated if we failed to "deliberate"?

tim in vermont said...

See? No matter how far left Mathews goes, he will not be forgiven.

ronalddewitt said...

Can I infer on the basis of your etymological note that water impounded behind an ice dam can be called a "bacle"? On a similar point, what would be liberated if we failed to "deliberate"?

tim in vermont said...

Garage,
I think that swooning over the crease in Obama's trousers rates at least as high as Bush in the flight suit, about which many stupid things were said, such as claims from the left that Bush had "enhanced his manhood" for the photo.

garage mahal said...

Matthews is a screwed up gender nut, as evidenced by his entire body of work.

tim in vermont said...

LoL

Michael K said...

"claims from the left that Bush had "enhanced his manhood" for the photo."

The funniest was the claim that Bush's bullet proof vest was a receiving antenna for transmitting answers in the debate.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think that swooning over the crease in Obama's trousers rates at least as high as Bush in the flight suit, about which many stupid things were said, such as claims from the left that Bush had "enhanced his manhood" for the photo."

Oh, no! You made me remember that Al Gore Rolling Stone cover.

Bruce Hayden said...

Matthews also gushed about how manly George Bush looked wearing a flight suit during his Mission Accomplished stunt.

Garbage is at it again. Trying to reinvent history. It wasn't a stunt, and GW Bush wore a very similar flight suit during his active duty and reserve time as a jet jockey. He looked good in it, because he was comfortable wearing it, as contrasted to Dukakis wearing that tank helmet.

MayBee said...

I remember when MSNBC was my favorite cable news channel. Remember David Bloom?

CWJ said...

I wager that there was no thought behind it. Probably just the first (bad) metaphor that occured to her. Nothing but lazy writing on Maslin's part.

Humperdink said...

I used to watch tingle leg all the time. I am not sure when, but at some point he just lost it. Completely. He is so far out there now he is unwatchable. I suspect he will be in rehab at some point, joining Dennis Rodman who just entered.

Portia said...

I too, used to watch Chris Matthews; he used to praise Bush so much I thought he was secretly a Republican even tho I knew he worked for Tip O'Neill and I believe Moynihan who were both Democrats. I had actually stopped watching him even before the 'thrill up the leg' comment which I believe came during the 2008 Dem convention. I had switch to the Internet for my news which is far more trustworthy.

Terry said...

"The second half of “The Loudest Voice in the Room” is mostly devoted to recent and familiar news, beginning with the moment Fox began getting thrills up its leg over Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky debacle."
A married president having an affair with a woman young enough to be his daughter. What do they think that they are fox, journalists?

Fen said...

A married president and his mistress, obstructing justice in a sexual discrimination lawsuit.

What do they think that they are FOX, journalists?

Paul Kirchner said...

Not that Bill ever was icy.

Not even when he said, "You might want to put some ice on that"?

Paul Kirchner said...

Not that Bill ever was icy.

Not even when he said, "You might want to put some ice on that"?