FCC DUMBASS QUOTAS

Is there some sort of fairness doctrine on the books covering sheer idiocy? Having already fulfilled its shrill, leathery, right-wing douchebag quota with Elizabeth Hasselbeck,** I'm struggling to see what other reason The View might have to bring Sherri Sheppherd into the fold.

Now, I am not so naive as to expect intellectual excellence from The View. No reasonable individual would tune in expecting to see four philosophes debating Kierkergaard. Nonetheless I believe that there exists, or should exist, some line below which the level shouldn't fall. And on a show featuring the daily wisdom of a mental infant like Hasselbeck, it was hard to imagine how the bar could actually be lowered.

Until yesterday.

After Ms. Sheppherd expressed her belief in creationism, fellow new host Whoopi Goldberg pressed her. Then things got stupid. In a hurry.

  • WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Is the world flat?
  • SHERRI SHEPHERD: Is the world flat? (laughter)
  • GOLDBERG: Yes.
  • SHEPHERD: …I Don't know.

  • GOLDBERG: What do you think?
  • SHEPHERD: I… I never thought about it, Whoopi. Is the world flat? I never thought about it.
  • BARBARA WALTERS: You've never thought about whether the world was round or flat?
  • SHEPHERD: I tell you what I've thought about. How I'm going to feed my child–
  • WALTERS: Well you can do both.
  • SHEPERD: …how I'm going to take care of my family. The world, is the world flat has never entered into, like that has not been an important thing to me.
  • ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: You'll teach your son, Jeffery, right?
  • SHEPHERD: If my son, Jeffery, asks me 'is the world flat,' I guess I would go…
  • JOY BEHAR: You know, didn't some person already work this question out? I mean, why are we doing this again? (laughter, applause)

  • Let's overlook, for a moment, the most obviously stupid aspect of her comments – i.e., who really knows whether the world is round? Focus instead on how she responds to Walters' question "You've never thought about…round or flat?"

    Why, no! I'm a girl, and girls think about what to cook for dinner!

    I was not aware that being a mother and/or a stay-home parent was an excuse for being ignorant of basic science. No, strike that. That's not even science. That's just reality. I'm not sure what aspect of this sad, sad debacle is more degrading:

  • 1. That this person who can't answer a question about the shape of the world has a daily national platform to speak to a couple million viewers.

  • 2. That "thinking about stuff is hard, so I just think about laundry and food preparation" was her response.

  • 3. That Ms. Behar swoops in to end the exchange by reinforcing the previous point, i.e. "Our viewers don't want to hear this – they care about laundry and food preparation."

    Thanks, View, for dropping your pants, squatting over our national discourse, and pinching off this brown, sludgy loaf.

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  • 4 Responses to “FCC DUMBASS QUOTAS”

    1. JDryden Says:

      Well, one *could* suppose that she was just making a clever allusion to A STUDY IN SCARLET, where Watson discovers to his shock and horror that Holmes doesn't know that the Earth revolves around the sun, because, as the latter explains, he's only got a limited amount of storage space in his brain and that information is completely irrelevant to his life and pursuits, so why bother to know it?

      But I think one would be, comme on dit, "totally fucking wrong" to give her that much credit.

      What I really think was that this was a total 'fuck you, Barbara and Whoopi' on Shepherd's part. Of *course* she knows the world is round, but when confronted with logic while her blood is up, she does what most pundits who don't have a leg to stand on do–she takes a deliberately misleading and hyperbolic position so as to steer the conversation into an "Oh My God" direction and away from the issue at hand, which allows the loser to jut in with a completely off-topic subject, i.e.: "No, I'll *tell* you what's *really* important–what's *important* is that gays aren't allowed to marry!"

      This wasn't a jaw-dropping display of scientific ignorance, as savory a morsel as that might be, but a rather standard bit of punditry, of the sort you catalogue so well in your quixotic struggle against logical fallacies.

    2. Christina Says:

      Exactly, JDryden and Ed, with the added bonus of the insinuation that any woman who is worried about such things as the shape of the Earth we live on is obviously not worrying about what she should be and isn't do her proper job as a NotMale, i.e., cooking, cleaning and popping out a couple of kids while letting the Males do all that heavy thinking.

      (Of course, you know that the popping out kids part only applies if you are white. If you are any shade of brown darker than cafe ole, you should really just stick to the cooking and cleaning part and do so for the white folks. Ahh, the 1950's, where art thou?)

    3. Erik Says:

      Didn't Steve Fossett prove the world was round not too long ago?

    4. Brandon Says:

      Wow… I don't know where to begin. I think Ed has pretty concisely summed up my reaction. Since I honestly know nothing about Ms. Sheppard, I can't comment on JDryden's assertion that this was more a knee-jerk reaction than an accurate reflection of her beliefs. Her comments seem to fit in with prevalent misconceptions about science, that scientific facts are just opinions and that ordinary people's opinions about things like evolution, the big bang, and the age of the earth are just as sensible as any dang scientist's.

      With regard to the whole gender aspect, this attitude is sadly familiar to me. I recall all the times at family gatherings when the women in my conservative family would filter out of the room to attend to their domestic duties whenever the men started debating politics. The sad thing is that all of my aunts were intelligent students in high school before they fell under the warm, mind-dulling embrace of evangelical Christianity.

      Finally, let me just point to the idiocy of the implication that this woman who is undoubtedly a millionare spends her every hour foraging for food and wondering where the next paycheck is coming from.