Dick Morris, Moral Philosopher
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.

Women 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."






©2005 diGenova & Toensing, LLP
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