The bride and I have been long-time watchers of NBC’s Today Show for decades, a habit that dates back to the day when the only TV channel we could pick up in our rented trailer from a rooftop antenna was the local NBC affiliate, WHAG in Hagerstown, MD. So to this day part of our morning routine is to tune in to the Today Show to see what’s happening in the world.
On Tuesday, Bill O’Reilly (a conservative talk show host and political pundit on the Fox network) was a guest, promoting his new book on the real John F. Kennedy. I do give Bill some credit, for even though our politics are largely diametrically opposed, and he can be a bombastic, pompous a-hole, he is in fact one of the saner members of the Fox news stable. I actually find myself agreeing with him occasionally (perhaps under the theory that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then).
At any rate, in discussing Kennedy and his romantic dalliances, O’Reilly observed, “Powerful men do what they want.” Now, this is not an earthshaking proposition, but hearing it spoken aloud just reminded me again of how much of a man’s world it remains. Women don’t earn as much for the same work; their actual bodily autonomy is increasingly being controlled by old men in suits; if they work outside the home they are castigated for neglecting the kids to promote their careers, but if they are stay-at-home moms they are not working hard enough to provide income.
From mundane, social interactions (expecting special and preferential treatment because of who they are) to world stage actions (starting or continuing wars), powerful men do what they want.
Another nugget from Tuesday’s show: they showed a clip where former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway introduced Mitt Romney at some campaign appearance in Colorado. Elway revs up the crowd and introduces Romney as “…the next President of the United States!”
The bride laconically observed, “Well, he’s not as smart as I thought he was.”