Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Washington Post "Style" Writer Proves to be a Partisan Hack

Writing at The Weekly Standard blog, Mary Katharine Ham notes a telling double standard at the Nation's Capital's favorite brand of fishwrap:
Washington Post Style writer Robin Givhan has a reputation for occasionally channeling her political predilections in petty fashion critiques of certain Washington actors. George Bush's hair is a "dull gray thatch," but Kerry should "gloat" over his "silver" mop, and John Edwards' mane "demands to be nuzzled."

This week, the Pulitzer-winning critic waxes predictably poetic about the be-Dockered and deck-shoed style of the Kennedys, obviously nostalgic for the "look of rich tradition" and refinement embodied by the kids from Hyannisport. She bemoans the inability of the modern American politician to wear it without apology (or, rather, the American people's alleged inability to countenance a look of easy affluence).

She wasn't nearly as nostalgic in her pettiest of attacks, in 2005's "An image a little too carefully coordinated," which took aim at John Roberts, his wife, and his two knee-high children. What was their sin, you might ask? Flip-flops at the White House? Tony Hawk t-shirts and Ninja Turtle shorts? No, their transgression was apparently trying to achieve "refinement" without being Democrats. What was the look of rich tradition on the Kennedys became "syrupy nostalgia" on Roberts' family:
When President Bush announced his choice for the next associate justice of the Supreme Court, it was hard not to marvel at the 1950s-style tableau vivant that was John Roberts and his family.
On the Kennedys, such fashion was a "style of dress that might best be described as both aristocratic and democratic," a mix Givhan regrets is "virtually impossible today, at least on the political stage."

But when Roberts' son Jack wore an "ensemble that calls to mind John F. "John-John" Kennedy Jr.," Givhan declared it "not classic" but "old-fashioned. These clothes are Old World, old money and a cut above the light-up/shoe-buying hoi polloi."

The verdict, on the Kennedys: "The modern fashion industry has argued that clothes can make a man look rich. Those images of the Kennedys recall the days when it was assumed that a man did that for his clothes."


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At 9/01/2009 8:53 AM, Blogger Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Snob! I love the slam on parents who buy their kids neat-o light-up shoes. We are just so pedestiram, giving our kids shoes that make them happy! Can you imagine the conversation she might have with her three year old?

"Mommy, please I want the lights! Jimmy has lights on hims shoes!"

"Dear, that isn't proper grammar! You should say, 'Mommy, may I please have shoes with lights,' and, 'Jimmy has lights on his shoes.' It's not 'hims shoes.' And, no. Lights are perfectly vulgar things to put on one's shoes. Don't you want to look like a Kennedy??? Don't you want Mummy to be proud of you?"

(whiny) "But Mommy, they's pretty!"

"No, dear, they are ridiculous, not to mention not at all stylish. Please show a little taste. Here, let's get you some of these lovely loafers. And this cardigan will look lovely draped across your shoulders while you sit on the playground. You don't run around with the other children much, anyway. hmm...I wonder why..."

At 9/02/2009 11:58 AM, Blogger Craig said...

They give out Pulitzers to style writers?
FYI. Givhan isn't a partisan hack. She's just a hack.
They're crying about her over at Huffington Post because of what she wrote about MO:



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