Monday, June 01, 2015


So this happened on Fox Business today:
A segment on Fox Business’ Cavuto repeatedly mocked Caitlyn Jenner, who debuted her new identity Monday on the cover of Vanity Fair, and misidentified her with male pronouns.

Neil Cavuto introduced the segment by asking in an exaggerated voice, “What the hell is going on?!?” The reporter, Dagen Mcdowell then proceeded to incorrectly use the pronouns “him” and “his” to refer to Caitlyn seven times.

Cavuto makes a joke of wanting to end the segment quickly, “Look at the time...” He then introduces his next guest, Charles Payne, as “Charlene Payne” to uproarious laughter. Watch:

Cavuto wraps of the discussion by suggesting the Vanity Fair cover was a sign of the end of American civilization. “Rome, final days. But that’s fine,” he concludes.
I watch this and I think, "Is gender reassignment really such a foreign concept to the Fox audience? It's not as if Jenner is the first person to ever undergo this transition. This sort of thing has been taking place since Christine Jorgensen in the early 1950s."

Yes, but back then, when most Fox viewers were young, the story of Christine Jorgenson was a big joke:
"EX-G.I. BECOMES BLONDE BEAUTY: OPERATIONS TRANSFORM BRONX YOUTH." So said the front page of New York's Daily News on December 1, 1952. Modern science had reached such sophistication that Danish doctors could now turn a man into a woman! At least, that was the gist of the initial news coverage, before Jorgensen returned home to America from Denmark.

Within weeks, comedians like Jack Benny were doing "Denmark jokes" about gender-reassignment surgery.....

For the next two decades, comedians just had to mention Denmark to get a laugh. In a 1954 telecast of The Jack Benny Show ... Benny and guest Bob Hope play hunters in an African jungle. They have shot a beast that is half tiger and half leopard. "He must have gone to a veterinarian in Denmark," Benny quips. Hope ad libs, "No wonder he had his hand on his hip when I shot him." A look of shock crosses Benny's face. He loses his concentration and cracks up. Just as Benny regains his composure, Hope says, "Oh look! He has his claws manicured," and Benny loses it again.
Here's the clip, cued up to that moment:

At Fox, I guess, being transgendered is still hilarious, because at Fox it's still 1954.


Jake said...

Oh for God's sakes, this is part of the Kardashians Inc., and as such it is impossible to be too cynical. I am compassionate toward transgendered people, especially those like Jenner who have gone through surgery. People don't do that unless, for whatever reasons, they are highly motivated.

But everything else about this is a publicity stunt. There have been transsexuals in this country for many decades. Maybe you're too young to remember Christine Jorgensen? The newly minted Caitlin Jenner has done nothing new. She's on the cover of Vanity Fair because she hired a well-connected p.r. firm.

We're not supposed to have a laugh? Well, that'll be your rule for your painfully correct self. Me, I'm laughing at the spectacle, and at myself for spending this much time to say the obvious to people who have prohibited themselves from seeing the obvious.

aimai said...

What is to laugh at? I don't even laugh at the Kardashians. Its tragic to see people waste so much time, energy, money on such a trivial and destructive lifestyle as merely rich, famous people. Within that category--Jenner's transformation is the least weird thing about that family. Jenner's transformation isn't funny. Its not tragic either. It just is. If trans people want to see him as a champion they have that right, and I respect the fact that their knowledge of the world is deeper than mine, and different, because of their experiences. If the TV ghouls of fox wanted to make fun of celebrity culture I still wouldn't laugh or think it funny because that's their bread and butter--they sell this crap with one hand and disparage it for a different audience with the other. Fox is bringing out a new TV show "Lucifer" about the fallen angel coming to Los Angeles (man, how familiar and how trite!) and their own hysterical right wing religious demographic is picketing them over it.

justsomeguy05 said...

Considering the family, I think it is interesting that it is spelled "Caitlin" rather than "Kaitlin".

Victor said...

I also remember an early SNL news piece where they announce that Renee Richards, an American ophthalmologist, author and former professional tennis player who had undergone a sex change operation, had written a book: 'Tennis Without Balls."

Hey, I was a straight white teenage jock, so I laughed!

I've since grown up.

I find the time spent in he media on the Kardashians to be far less instructive than what Caitlyn Jenner has gone through.

After the '76 Olympics, he was an American sports icon. He appeared on boxes of Wheaties - as well as almost every TV show.

And then, through time, he realized he was living a lie, and had the courage to do something about it.
There's a lot to admire about her.

Too bad (DUMB)FUX "news" chooses ridicule her.
But, then, what does anyone expect of a channel run by psychopaths, to help misinform sociopaths?

spinozista said...

May 16, 1954, to be precise.

Professor Chaos said...

The FOX people still aren't completely sold on the idea of women voting, of course trans people still freak them out

petrilli said...

This is a perfect example of Fox News' brand. There are still millions who think non-retro/unironically that Bob Hope was funny. A large segment of America (many too young to have seen the Jack Benny Show) is puzzled and angry that their America was taken from them. Ward Cleaver's America. Fox news comforts them while also confirming their worst fears.

petrilli said...

I'd like to point out that during the aughts and beyond, Ann Coulter, Adam's apple/tranny jokes were popular among her liberal critics. Only in the last few years have I noticed some push-back on that. No links to support, just anecdotal observation.

Steve M. said...

I haven't done enough pushback, but I've always found that line of attack on Coulter offensive and asinine.

Placeholder said...

Liberals aren't one single bit smarter, more factual, less corrupt, or more compassionate than the conservatives are. Both sides are equally tribal, stupid, and faith-based. And Steve M., how about the politician who thinks that men just want to tie women up and rape them, and that women fantasize about being gang raped while they're pretending to enjoy sex with their husbands?

Oh, but that would be Bernie Sanders, so we'll not mention it. After all, we'd hate to be caught showing independence, or applying a single set of standards to everyone.

aimai, I agree that Jenner's sex change isn't funny. It's serious surgery, and the outward manifestation of a difficult life. But if yiu think people are somehow obligated not to laugh at the circus atmosphere that Jenner/Kardashian Inc. have created, then we think differently.

Steve M. said...

Placeholder, I'd address your point about the 1970s Bernie Sanders sex essay, but it's obvious you haven't actually read it, or the post I already wrote about it.

Placeholder said...

I have read it, and I've read your defense of it. I use the same standard for everyone. You obviously don't. If a Democrat praises rape, it's perfectly o.k. with you.

Steve M. said...

You didn't read it if that's what you think I said, or he said. Goodbye, Placeholder. Thanks for playing.

Placeholder said...

Well yes, you're liberal and so is Bernie. And that's really all we need to know.