Sunday, August 08, 2010

Hey, Tish Durkin (Ava and C.I.)

Hey, Tish Durkin, it's not that puzzling. You watched ABC's This Week with Christiane Amanpour today and saw a great show (and write about that at The Week). But you're confused because Tom Shales of the Washington Post hates the show.

It's not that puzzling, Tish. Have you not noticed Tom Shales long, long history of sexism? Have you not noticed in the last ten years how he's attacked every actress he could? Have you missed that he did this in the 90s, in the 80s, in the 70s . . .

Tish, this is the man who trashed Charlie's Angels based on the hair styles and, if anything, time has demonstrated that hair styles were one thing Charlie's Angels got right. (The Farrah became a long lasting trend that still exists today.)

Tish, for years and years at Third, we'd refer and allude to Sexist Tom Shales. We named him directly in "TV: The Christ-child fumbles" (April 20, 2008) and have since. In fact, maybe we need to do a weekly sexist watch on him this fall?

Your only mistake, Tish, was assuming if you read him and re-read him, he'd make sense. When a woman's in the lead, Shales makes no sense. He just snarls and hisses and goes all nutty. It's sexism and it's appalling that the Washington Post has allowed him to pontificate all these decades. (How does he get away with it, Tish? Because he's a radical and other radicals throw public fits whenever he gets in trouble with the paper.)

Take Kings which was a male dominated TV show. As we noted in "TV: Cuting through the crap," "Tom Shales (Washington Post) buried that the show was slow-moving and spent multiple early paragraphs on David Lynch and assorted other non-Kings details." And he raved over Chris Egan. (Who? Exactly.) That's what happens if it's a male dominated show. He buries negativity deep in the review. By contrast, Jenna Elfman returns to sitcom form and what happens? As we noted in "TV: Sister Honey:"

But who needs to grasp a show when you're too busy conducting a war on women. Tom Shales (Washington Post) has been conducting a one-pig war on women for over 40 years. He continues it by insisting, "There's a bit of timeliness in the premise: a cougar on the prowl." A cougar on the prowl? Did he watch the show? She didn't go looking for a younger man to have sex with (that's what a cougar on the prowl would be doing). Calling her "Billie-kins," Shales continues his standard operating procedure of diminishing women. He then carps, "It's not easy to buy the notion that she's a film critic, however; the only cinematic reference she makes in the premiere is to Meg Ryan movies. She does have a 'Gilda' poster in her apartment, however, so that's a clue, almost." Again, did he watch the show? We saw numerous film posters (including a Greta Garbo film, An American Werewolf in London, etc. -- and only the one in what is now the nursery has been pulled since the show began airing). Maybe Shales is on yet another snack run every time a character walks through Billie's hallway? Somehow he also managed to fail to mention Billie going on about Gone With The Wind in the first episode.

See, thing is, Marxism is really known for its embrace of female equality. And certain stodgy old adherents never could adapt. That's how you get Tom Shales.

And the only mistake a woman ever makes when trying to interpret Tom Shales' latest slam on women is trying to interpret it. Shales, like sexism, is both always with us and never makes sense.

(Disclosure: We both know Christiane.) The e-mail address for this site is