Your Lying Eyes

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10 July 2009

Is Judith Warner Insane?

A couple months back, at the height of the collective Obamagasm, the Times's Judith Warner wrote a column, without a whiff of irony, discussing the widespread (she assured us) phenomenon of fully mature, responsible women having sex dreams about Obama.

But today's column* is Exhibit A in what's wrong with punditry today. Her thesis?
[T]he fact that our country’s resentment, and even hatred, of well-educated, apparently affluent women is spiraling out of control.
Note that she's not wondering if blah blah, she's stating it as a fact.

And her evidence? First, in June 2007, a (female) college professor left 3 young children (ages 3, 7 and 8) with two 12 year-olds at the mall.** The 12 year olds left the youngsters by themselves, the cops were called, and the woman was charged with child endangerment. The woman, you see, was well educated, and the overzealous prosecutor (gee, not many of those around) made some comments about not letting her get away with it just because she was a college professor with money.***

The rest of her argument? Well, what more proof do you need than: Sarah Palin! Of course, it's always about Palin. Because she's not all that well educated, and argues against the elites, and because people like her, she is proof positive of "the fact that our country’s resentment, and even hatred, of well-educated, apparently affluent women is spiraling out of control."

And that's it. Go ahead, read the article, if you must (it's pretty painful), or just trust me - that's it.

There's a very revealing correction notice at the bottom of the article:
An earlier version of this column misstated the date that Bridget Kevane had taken her children to the mall. It was in June 2007, not “a few weeks ago” as the column had originally stated.
You see what happened here? She came upon this story, perhaps emailed to her by one of her Obama-sex-dreaming acolytes, and thought it was a recent story and therefore topical. That explains why a story from 2 years ago is being presented as evidence that this alleged phenomenon is now reaching dangerous levels. So, armed with what she thought was a newsy item (and of course the always reliable Sarah Palin) she conjured up this fanciful tale about an anti-intellectual-woman pogrom sweeping the nation.****

If she wanted a real newsworthy item of controversial child endangerment charges, there was the case - which actually did occur three weeks ago - of the young mother breastfeeding her child while intoxicated (ironically one state over - in North Dakota). She did this in front of the police during a search of her home, and they arrested her. She was charged, pleaded guilty and her child wazs taken from her. She now faces up to 5 years in prison, despite there not being any scientific evidence that breastfeeding while intoxicated poses any real danger. But this woman is not well educated and certainly not affluent - she's low class - white trash is the usual epithet - and would not fit Warner's thesis. In fact, it directly contradicts it.

* Ok, the Times calls it a "blog" - but it looks and is presented just like a column. She does get hammered pretty hard in the comments, though.

** Only three of the children were hers - I'm presuming two of the younger ones and one of the 12-year olds. I agree that 12-year olds should be expected to be more responsible, but overzealous prosecution of child endangerment is nothing new.

*** One of the outcomes that apparently irks Warner is that the woman was compelled to attend a "parenting class." Ah, so all of a sudden "classes" are annoying and designed to humiliate, not educate? I wonder how Warner feels about those "sensitivity", "diversity" and "anger management" classes that people are sometimes compelled to take?

**** Some annoying reader no doubt pointed out it's rather creaky pedigree, pretty much nullifying her Exhibit A. Oh well. I've done that before myself - hit upon something I thought was new, started to blog about it, but then saw it was actually an old story, and so dropped the post. But that's just my little blog - we can't expect such responsible journalism from the Times.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warner has a mannish face,

I wonder if something is up with her hormones.....

Lefty's never cease to dissapoint in their neverending quest of finding boogeymen who oppress/discriminate against/hold down/hog all the advantages/are scheming against themselves. This is because lefty's MUST see themselves as victims because that is a status symbol.

Any woman who sends tots to a mall with two twelve year olds isn't a much of a mom. 12 year olds are no match for adults, and 12 year olds are likely to do just what these two twelve year olds did.......leave the tots alone and go do whatever they wished. That college professor SURELY could afford a babysitter. Malls are not supposed to be babysitters.

Im sure Warren will see more victimhood in this and eventually decide (suprise!) that we need national child care to address it, but she will then be confronted with the quandry of the precious children of those like herself being beholden to the company and close quarters of all those "other" Americans-----so I'm sure that she will work something out where there could be a two-tiered national child care system for college professor mommies that doesn't leave their broods with the "wrong kind" of other kids and stuff. Perhaps her hero Obama will use that overwhelming charm of his and get the Chinese to agree to keep lending us money so that we can afford this essential program that helps us fight the discrimination and oppression that is causing our nation to falter and all. Warren can dream about it in one of her damper dreams and blog on the matter for all the inquiring minds that read her output.

I know, I know......Im a meanie.

July 11, 2009 4:21 AM  
Blogger Black Sea said...

Thanks for linking to this, Ziel. I normally wouldn't read something like this on the Times website, but it's well worth dissecting.

Warner says:

"Now, we can debate until we’re blue in the face whether or not Kevane should have left those three young children alone with the 12-year-olds. The pre-teens in question, it seems pretty clear, didn’t have the maturity to be entrusted with the care of younger kids . . . "

And this woman writes for a living? She says we can debate this "until we're blue in the face," and then concedes, in the very next sentence, that Kevane "pretty clear[ly]" shouldn't have done this, for the obvious reason that the 12 year olds wandered away and left the younger kids in another part of the store.

Dropping an 8, 7, and 3 year old off at the mall, to be looked after by a couple of 12 year olds, was a bad idea, as even the mother rather grudgingly concedes. Whatever it was that she claims to have been trying to teach her 12 year old about responsibility, it obviously shouldn't have been done in this manner.

Warner then says, "That still doesn’t mean that Kevane’s error in judgment adds up to anything like child endangerment."

Well, she could cite us the statute that defines reckless endangerment in Montana, but no, that would entail a bit of research, and anyway, it might work against her thesis. It may be that that the arresting officer misinterpreted or overzealously applied the statue, but this is all rank speculation, since neither we -- nor apparently, Warner -- knows what the statute actually says. The fact that Kevane ultimately chose not to go to trial, after having had her case run by a mock jury, does suggest that her actions may well have fallen within the scope of reckless endangerment, and of course, the police are under obligation to enforce the statute.

As several of the commenters pointed out, the prosecutor, a professional woman with a graduate degree, was pursuing this case against another professional woman with a graduate degree, who, at the very least, had made a serious error in judgment. So this, apparently, drives home the fact that our country's "hatred, of well-educated, apparently affluent women is spiraling out of control." From this point forward, Warner cranks up the victimization theme, and the particulars of Kevan's case are quickly forgotten, since it was really just a flimsy launching pad for her rant anyway.

BTW, having said all of this, I'm not convinced that Kevane deserved prosecution. As I've said, we don't know how the law reads, but I would agree that a mistake in parental judgment shouldn't necessarily constitute a crime. It's hard enough to raise kids as it is.

Final verdict: Warner's hardly insane; shes just fulfilling her obligations to her employer, and advancing her own career into the bargain.

July 11, 2009 5:39 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

Final verdict: Warner's hardly insane; shes just fulfilling her obligations to her employer, and advancing her own career into the bargain.

She's probably not insane, but manufacturing evidence to support paranoid fantasies of unspecified dangers to your well-being surely suggests at least some evidence of instability, no?

July 11, 2009 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She suffers from serious migraines.

July 11, 2009 11:54 AM  
Blogger gcochran said...

My daughter's imaginary friends were more interesting than Judith Warner - and now that she's in college, they're probably looking for a job.

July 11, 2009 3:20 PM  
Blogger agnostic said...

our country’s resentment, and even hatred, of well-educated, apparently affluent women is spiraling out of control.

Translation, per Steve Sailer: those mean boys don't find my education to compensate for my faded looks.

July 13, 2009 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugly white women are always having fantacies about sex with black men, but never actually do. I feel sorry for her husband.

July 20, 2009 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for commenting on this. Everything Judith Warner writes is about herself: upper middle class, well-educated white women are the most put upon people in the world, because people feel free to criticize their parenting, because they have to pay taxes on their incomes, because they have migraine headaches....

July 31, 2009 6:41 PM  

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