Yes, I’m a “doctor”, but not of “spin”

I woke up this morning to this charming piece of news. I commented on it, both on my own Facebook feed and on of the many comment threads where I saw it. My view is this:

She took the bait.

“You are fascinated with sex.” It was supposed to sound like something said in the heat of the moment. My suspicion is he was waiting with the line, just ready with the juicy little worm on the hook, until the perfect opportunity. Holding back on dropping it until she was ready to snap. It was calculated to throw her off her game, give him the upper hand, because he could insinuate the WORST thing a (conservative) man could say about a (conservative) woman on a (conservative) news network.

She isn’t “ladylike”. Her desires might be out of control. She’s unpredictable.

Except he *did* predict–well, and viciously. Because she played the semantic game, and gave him what he expected.

“No, I’m not.”

The proper, ladylike response. Which, in this case, loses the game.

The winning strategy would have let him blow all that hot air, not interrupting him, not talking over him. Give the ugliness its space. Then make the unexpected response:

“Yes, Mr. Speaker, like all human beings, I’m fascinated with how we come into the world–which means I’m fascinated with sex. However, some of us are fascinated with other things too, like how we sustain ourselves in the world (which means we’re fascinated with food), and how we leave it (which means we’re fascinated with death). Our fascination with sex has not been detrimental to our careers and reputations.

“Shall we proceed?”

I was asked if I’m a “spin doctor”. To intelligent people, this is not “spin”. It’s called discourse analysis–I’m looking at the environment in which the semantic game is played, the way the game is played, and whether the game is even a valid one.

Gingrich didn’t play a valid game once he started with “you are fascinated with sex.” She played into his trap when she said “I’m not fascinated with sex.”

People are saying how Kelly “handed [Gingrich] his ass.” No, she didn’t. She handed him her ass, and took it back in a takeout box.

People are saying she is “off the leash” now Roger Ailes is gone from Fox. She is still playing the “defend my white woman’s [sexual] purity and honor” game her paymasters like best.

I’m not a fan of either of the participants in this exchange. But if you’re simply keeping score, she lost the semantic game.


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