Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sally Quinn: Let Them Eat Cake. At My House. Or Else.

Does anyone else picture Sally Quinn in an elegant room, typing away as uniformed butlers slice her tethers to reality one by inevitable one?

Her latest batch of pap is not quite so great as the Great Editorial Page Freakout of 2001, where she advocated we all buy gas masks and carry them everywhere, stock beans and peanut butter in our cars (for the protein!), and eventually barricade ourselves into our homes with tarpaulins and duct tape. (Where, thanks to the duct tape and tarps, we'd promptly suffocate. Which, to be fair, is probably better than slow death by nuclear mutation.)

But it's a hoot nonetheless. First, she compares herself and her posh Georgetown friends to the kindly Na'Vi of Avatar...then, thankfully, completely drops the analogy on the grounds that it makes no sense whatsoever.

Then she bitches, at length, that the last six or so presidents haven't hobnobbed enough with her for her liking. In an acrobatic feat of logic, she takes this as a sign of the increasing irrelevance of the Presidency, and not of her own increasing irrelevance. Then she advocates that the Obama administration make it mandatory that their staffers come to her dinner parties from time to time. Which I am sure would be the best HR move ever, considering these folks already work 12 to 20 hours a day.

Unfortunately, there are a few apples spoiling the Semiannual Shredding of Sally Quinn. Some folks take this as an opportunity to accuse Quinn of sleeping her way to the top, having her job only because she's Mrs. Ben Bradlee, looking a little too much like the Crypt Keeper, or various other 'Sally the Unpretty Skank' broadsides.

I have two issues with this. One, is, of course, that it's appallingly sexist. Until no-talent men are accused of sharing their goodies for success, we need to just drop the notion of a journalistic casting couch. And her looks? Just. Not. Relevant. At all. Drop it. Now.

The second issue is that there are so many wonderful and fair-minded reasons to mock her, so why focus on the unsavory? She has nothing to say, and no interesting way to say it. She's odiously elitist. She lacks the self-awareness to realize that bitching about her fancy dinner parties in a city with 12.1 percent unemployment is on a "Let them eat cake" wavelength.
Worst of all, her writing is ponderous, dull, and lacks craft. It's like slogging through a ninth grader's book report. On a macro note, the fact that the Post retains her while exfoliating legions of copy editors heralds the death of substantive journalism.

So, folks, let's band together. Stop the sexist insanity. Let's hate Sally Quinn for all the right reasons.

In the comments, tell me why you've been turning down invitations from Sally Quinn.


[F]oxymoron said...

She lost me at, Imagine Washington as the planet Pandora in the movie "Avatar."

No thank you.

Also, what exactly constitutes a DC native these days? Or anywhere for that matter. Planes, internet, and technology are dramatically reshaping the way we think about "home" and "native" and "permanence".

Your blog post is 100x better than her writing.

Shannon said...

Foxy - You didn't want to read about Washington's, "lush virgin forests, valuable minerals and sacred lands"? Is she referring to Rock Creek Park, crack rocks and the Sonny Bono Memorial?

And thanks - though it's a little like telling me I'm taller than the biggest paramecium.

Bateshorn said...

I've been excluded from the sewing circle because I do my exercising in the National Arboreteum and live in PG County, thus making me inherently dangerous.

Is it wrong that even though I've met Ben Bradlee, I was dissappointed because I wanted him to be Jason Robards instead?

Shannon said...

Bateshorn - Hey, you changed your handle!

Also, is it wrong that I'm disappointed that Sally Quinn is not, in fact, an elaborate piece of performance art?

Anonymous said...
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lacochran said...

...because I'm too busy going to your soirees. :)

I, too, think it diminishes one's argument if one is imprecise with one's perjoratives.

Clairebell said...

DC on the level she speaks is just not really that kind of social town. It's all about leverage in the connection.

Does she even know how to use paragraphs? Bring on monkeys with typewriters if we can't have fired copy editors!!

Anonymous said...
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Shannon said...

lacochran - I should start badgering Obama staffers to come over!

clairebell - In the latest round of budget cuts, paragraphs were furloughed until May.

Just A Girl said...

Ooh I want to know what Anonymous said that warranted removal twice.

So I tried to read the article, since I've never heard of her, and tried my best to get through it but I couldn't. She's boring and obnoxious. WHO CARES if the president isn't out attending cocktail parties? Maybe, just maybe, he's busy. You know, running a country?

Ibid said...

Because this is the first time I've heard of Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee is only slightly more recognizable.

Shannon said...

JAG - Unfortunately, just some very non-exciting comment spam. And you're right - two wars, a bad economy, health care...really, Obama's got tons of time to play Sally Quinn's reindeer games!

Ibid - Poor Ms. Quinn would be devastated to discover that she is merely a legend in her own mind.

restaurant refugee said...

I read more of the Washington Post each day than just about anyone who does not have reading the paper as a job description. I am particularly fond of the Post's columnists... except that pretentious, affected, painfully unaware dilettante and blowhard of a woman.

Pretty sure those are the right reasons, right?

FoggyDew said...

Didn't even make it past the first graf. It was that painful.

Jamie said...

Sally Quinn is actually the centerpiece of the Post's new strategy: if you can't get them to take you seriously, make them laugh.

Since The Post no longer has any creditbility whatsoever when it comes to integrity and honesty (e.g, the current absurdity about Michelle Rhee in which they actually censored a reporter's blog post after it was posted) they are relying on humor.

Sally Quinn is an hilarious relic of a time past where the biggest problems facing the world are along the lines of, what dress should I wear tonight?

Sadly, she's one of few people who I actually believe is speaking the truth in The Post these days. At least she believes what she's writing.

Shannon said...

Refugee - All very good reasons. Plus, she can't write.

Foggy - But the real entertainment is a few paragraphs down. The Kennedys and their round skirted tables were the greatest thing to ever hit Washington! Who knew?

Jamie - Either she believes what she's writing, or she's a highly elaborate form of performance art. You be the judge.

Clairebell said...

I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt and inferring that she used them before she got all in a tizzy over her (newly realized?) social unimportance.

Anonymous said...
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