Friday, April 4, 2008


That's Our Girl!

How Do You Make a Hormone?

Compare her to Hillary Clinton. Old jokes, newly mutilated. Thanks, folks, the tip jar is on the piano.

Randi Rhodes, squawky motormouth host on Air America, has been suspended for a routine she did at a comedy club, where she likened Hillary to a prostitute, and Geraldine Ferraro too, by the most direct route:


"You know why she's a big f&%$ng whore? Because her deal is always, 'Read the fine print, a%%&*le!' Not quite what Air America had in mind for their on-air personalities, even when the personalities aren't on the air, so they suspended her--after her routine was uploaded to Youtube.

Leaving aside all the important issues, civility/freedom, Obama/Hillary, this really upset my mother, the redoubtable Louise. RL has been a fan of Randi's since Air America was a weak, mewling infant network, much as it is today. Randi's four hour Tarzan yell of a show gave a voice, a harsh, funny, New York honking voice, to Mom's frustrations as they had never been voiced before (except by Mom, every blinking day of her adult life. But let's not get into that).

The Redoubtable Louise has also been a ferocious defender of the Clintons, from the first fuzzy tone that blatted out of Bill's saxophone. "He's brilliant, brilliant!" she would say. How my father sighed when she swept all the nice James Beard cookbooks off the dining room shelf and replaced them with Al Franken books. "They're my weapons," she said, her eyes narrowed.

RL devotedly followed Air America through its travails, as her favorite shows were cancelled, loyally supporting even Jerry Springer's Radio Snoozefest. Who knew the Ringmaster of Topless Chairthrowing Lesbians could be so dull? When AA was dropped by its original "flagship," Mom tried to follow the beleaguered network across the dial to its new, underpowered station (the flag-dinghy). Of all the shows, only Randi's air-horn delivery was audible, on certain days, on the radio in the upstairs bathroom.

Split Down the Middle

The Redoubtable Louise called me to urge that Mr. P. and I send money to Hillary. After being subjected to barking laughter on my end of the phone, RL said, "You're just prejudiced against her!" "No," I said, "I've just never heard of a candidate in one party saying that the nominee of the other party was better than her primary opponent."

"Nonsense! You just want to throw her to the curb!"

If I were smart, I'd have said, "Mom, I want to thank your generation for all the struggles you went through for us, and we'll never throw you to the curb." But color me deaf to nuance.

"Mom, guess what! Randi Rhodes was suspended for calling Hillary Clinton a whore!"

That took the ginger out of Mom: (Cautiously) " Why would Randi say that?"

"I don't know," I said, "Perhaps it had something to do with Hillary cozying up to Richard Mellon Scaife!"

"Cozying up to Mellon-Scaife!" Pause. "I don't even want to hear it. I don't even want to know,"she said weakly. "You know, it's about time I got ready for bed. I have to floss my teeth."


Well, he is the publisher of the Pittsburgh Gazette, after all. So all the years he hounded the Clintons, the vendettas against their hapless friends, the book and then the movie about Mellon-Scaife that my mother eagerly devoured (the Hunting of the President), did not stop Hillary from marching in to the Pittsburgh Gazette and sitting down with the guy.

To be fair, I'd have gone too if I were Hillary, just out of simple curiosity, to see if he exudes sulphur in person the way he does on the page. But it was all too much for my mother.

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