20 December 2013

An Apology Is Owed

Andrea Peyser (shown here, courtesy of New York Magazine) left a lot out of her column demanding that President Barack Obama apologize to “us” for behavior at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela earlier this month.

For example, Peyser left out how she hadn’t been there (despite writing another column about having met Mandela). She based her “reporting” entirely on viewing a few photographs from the event on the internet. And on her superhuman ability to read the minds of both the President and Michelle Obama halfway across the world.

Peyser left out that all the other photographs from the event, including those that undermined the story she was spinning. She left out how Roberto Schmidt, the photographer who snapped the shot that incensed her, had written a warning that those pictures were being selectively shown and misinterpreted.

Peyser complained about an image of the President participating in a “selfie” photo with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt and British Prime Minister David Cameron. But she left out the fact that Schmidt had initiated that action and instead chose to suggest it had been Obama’s idea. Peyser left out how former President George W. Bush’s Instagram account shared a photograph of himself smiling with Bono at the same event.

What did Peyser definitely not leave out? Schmidt’s nationality. In a column demanding respect for women, Peyser called Helle Thorning Schmidt:
  • “Denmark’s voluptuously curvy and married prime minister.”
  • “a Danish pastry.”
  • “the Danish hellcat.”
  • “the cross-legged Danish cupcake.”
  • “the Danish tart.”
  • “the Danish hottie.”
  • “the Danish object of his desire.”
Peyser also sniffed at Schmidt’s “long Scandinavian legs covered by nothing more substantial than sheer black stockings,” as if the prime minister should have worn shin guards to an outdoor formal event in summer.

Why eight mentions of Schmidt’s ethnicity? Could it be that Peyser wanted to drive home the fact that Schmidt is blonde (as in Peyser’s phrase “blonde bimbo”)? I can’t see any other explanation for such poor, repetitive writing.

Yes, the New York Post went to the extremes of OIP Derangement Syndrome and accused President Obama of lusting after blonde women.

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