by Victoria Toensing
Think about it. A
well known female political consultant, married, is the chief architect of
the President's re-election. She polls, she counsels, she
triangulates, she fights off jealous White House staffers and emerges on
Time magazine's cover as the one who really whispers in the Presidential
ear. Then, during the National convention, female political consultant
is exposed, having a sordid affair with a $200 an hour male prostitute, sharing
classified information with him while sucking his toe. The
exposure also reveals that, with yet another man, she had a love child who
lives with the father in a state far away from her east coast home.
She is generous though, sending monthly payments from the high sums she
receives from the President's committee for doing his re-election ad
campaign. Do you really think ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and CNN would invite
her to opine about the morals in the current political process?
You don't have to
think long. Ms. Consultant would only be interviewed for "Can
this marriage be saved?" or featured as a shameless bimbo on
Entertainment Tonight. Why then is Dick Morris ubiquitous on the
political talk show circuit? And why is it that Morris even thinks he
has a chance to fulfill his newest ambition: to have a national radio
and television talk show?
Could it be that the
networks want him to teach us morality? Hardly. When you
question him about the fact the rules are clear that no one should solicit
campaign funds from a government building he says everybody does it and
Clinton had to win the election for the good of the country. No, teaching
morality is not the raison d'etre for his commentary.
Could it be that the
networks want us to learn how to repent for counsel gone awry.
Hard to find sorrow there. Ask Dick how he feels about
vice-president Gore's admittedly overzealous fundraising everywhere from the
Buddhist Temple to inside a government office building. He will tell
you forthwith: Gore deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Perhaps then, the networks
want a big story from his appearance, a revelation of headline proportion.
No. Each time Morris titillates the host by saying he knows all kinds
of Members of Congress, former clients all, who also violated the
making-calls-for-campaign-funds-from-the-office prohibition, he is never
called to task. It is a rarity, the networks engaging in the Don't
ask, Don't tell rule.
Perhaps Dick Morris is just
like pornography: he has no redeeming social value. He is put on
for only the ratings.
Or, just perhaps, there is
a male thing going on here. It could be there is a “There But for
the Grace of God Go I” syndrome at play. It could be that the
males who dominate the television and radio networks and stations want
rehabilitation for Morris just in case they, too, fall one day into the
endless pit of hubris. The men-who-run-the-media may want reassurance
that whatever future or past sins are emblazoned on their souls can also be
cleansed by being placed in a respectable public confessional and asked how
they would run the universe.
So I can forgive the men
associated with all his appearances. They have a self-interest.
But the women who, if truth
be told, dominate that relatively lower but crucial caste in the media
business dubbed “bookers,” should be ashamed. Bookers actually
contact proposed radio and TV guests and make all arrangements necessary to
ensure their appearances. Certainly, female bookers should know they,
as women, are the purveyors of morality for the next generation. I
know that is true because I learned it from all my male teachers and books I
read as a child. Our children's morality gauges will only askew
by hearing words flowing from Morris’ incessant smirk teaching them that
the ends justify the means.
Moreover, women have
nothing to gain by a feckless toe-sucking husband being recirculated as
a respectable talk show host telling us how to run our political system.
Women have nothing to gain by a Morris rehabilitation because no woman would
ever be so rehabilitated.
bookers of the U.S. media unite. Find your principles and flex
your power. Refuse to book him. Say you tried to reach Morris
but he was out on a dalliance. Say he was busy talking to a 900
number. Withhold booking, a la Lysistrata, until all your male
bosses, talk show hosts, and media moguls agree there should be No More
Morris. As the Queen would say, "Off
with his talking head."