- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 27, 2003

Spin sisters

As former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg did with his best-seller “Bias,” longtime Ladies Home Journal editor in chief Myrna Blyth is about to blow the political cover of prominent “media queens” like Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer.

We’ve just finished reading the uncorrected proof of “Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America” (St. Martin’s Press), which when published should be required reading for all the women and girls in this country who’ve grown tired of not thinking for themselves.

And what better poster child to feature in the book’s opening sentence than Rosie O’Donnell, who has supposedly appealed for all these years to millions of American women just like herself — interested in kids, cooking and crafts.

“How many lesbian moms with multimillion-dollar bank balances, bodyguards for their kids, and a political view to the left of Madonna’s live on your block?” asks Miss Blyth, who retired last year after 21 years at the helm of Ladies Home Journal (before that, she was executive editor of Family Circle).

Confessing she at one time was a veteran of the “spin sisters,” the widely respected editor doesn’t pull a single punch when detailing the lives and political beliefs of prominent media women, several of whom are credited for creating the modern-day Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Of all the women-as-victim stories that have dominated the news, the one that continues to have the most far-reaching and long-lasting effect is Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarkable transformation from the ‘pariah in pink’ to America’s Most Unlikely Victim,” she states.

Once while interviewing President and Mrs. Clinton, Miss Blyth remembers thinking “that I had finally figured out why Hollywood loves Hillary. She’s a terrific actress.”

It was this “mantle of victimhood,” Miss Blyth adds, that led Mrs. Clinton to her New York Senate race victory and could now propel her to the top.

“In truth, Hillary is just one of a group of supremely powerful women, some of whom have learned to expertly play the victim card for their own benefit, others who peddle victimization and fear in order to influence you for ratings and readership,” the editor says, recalling when she and other “Spin Sisters Supreme” were guests at a party strategically hosted by Mrs. Clinton.

“Some, like Barbara and Diane and Katie, you have heard of,” she says. “Many are talented, and ambitious, and smart; and, I must admit, some are friends of mine. But … I also know they are elitist, liberal, parochial, and pampered, and all of them believe that if you’re a woman, you should think like them.”

Moved by Carville

“I saw James Carville on TV a couple of days ago pimping for donations for the Democratic National Committee,” writes Mike Becker of Phoenix, Ariz., who promptly picked up his phone and dialed the DNC collection line.

“First, you’re told they are taking too many calls from committed Democrats and you’ll have to either hold or go to the automated donation line. I held. Then you’re offered the opportunity to leave your name and number and they will get back to you. Or you can hold. I held,” he says.

“I finally was transferred to a young man who is likely the poster boy for success in Washington, D.C.’s public school system. He read — very haltingly and poorly, with no expression — a script that no self-respecting telemarketer would touch. He asked for $100. I told him I was so inspired by James Carville that I had just mailed a $1,000 check to the Republican National Committee. He thanked me for my concern for national issues and my willingness to help.

“Could I possibly afford $10? I repeated my $1,000 story. He thanked me again and asked me what amount would I feel comfortable donating to the DNC? I asked him if the DNC could please send me money directly, instead of waiting to pass a bill through Congress that the pesky president probably wouldn’t sign anyway.

“There was a long pause and he thanked me for listening to his entire script and asked me if I see my way clear to make a $10 donation. With never so much as a peep of inflection in his monotone voice. As a broken glass Republican, I was encouraged that the DNC is so hurting for help they can’t even find a decent telemarketing company to collect their cash.

“Give ‘em a call if you’re having a boring day, it’s instructional.”

John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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