Friday, April 4, 2008

Idiots of the Week #8 ~ MSNBC's Morning Joes

The story, by now, has been well-publicized. Thomas Beatie was born a woman. Now he is legally male, legally married to a woman, and pregnant. In short, Thomas Beatie is a pregnant man. His first-person account of the pregnancy was featured in The Advocate and discussed on many blogs, including Towleroad. Last week, Beatie discussed his story with God herself, Oprah. I didn't see Oprah's show, but I assume she managed to conduct the interview in a reasonably adult fashion. She is God, after all. The blog response to Beatie's pregnancy has been immense and, to say the least, varied, from comments wishing the couple well to others labeling Beatie a freak. David Letterman and Saturday Night Live have weighed in on the matter with rather unfunny bits.

The fact that a pregnant man has become fodder for bad, obvious jokes is not surprising. And, by putting himself and his family in the spotlight, Beatie has made himself fair game. His situation is thought-provoking on a number of levels, from health and hormone issues to the meaning of gender to the wisdom of putting your family life before a ruthless media. MSNBC's Morning Joe hosts--Willie Geist, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough--could have discussed the serious implications of Beatie's pregnancy. They are "newscasters," after all, not late-night comics or anonymous blogosphere blatherers. But they chose not to. The segment speaks for itself, but when Scarborough squeals, "We don't want the facts. I can't handle the facts," that about sums it up. So, if you can't handle it, why are you airing it?

Yes, a man having a baby is unusual. But is it particularly more unnatural than what some "normal" couples go through to have children? Is it particularly more freakish than someone having eight children as a result of fertility drugs, or people on the far-side of middle-age adopting children on the other side of the world, or Larry King siring offspring at the age of what, 150? The oh-so-sensitive hosts covered their eyes because they couldn't bear the sight of Beatie. He made them, literally they claimed, sick. With all the atrocities that happen every day, it's a pregnant man who makes you sick? A man, who, objectively speaking, is quite handsome and pleasant looking, certainly less horrifying to look at then any of these people. Their reaction, of course, has nothing to do with the objective facts before their eyes and everything to do with their hysterical fear of the unknown. (Gender ambiguities seem to have this effect on simple-minded media creatures.)

My advice: If you can't stand the heat, Morning Jackasses, get out of the kitchen. Willie Geist, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough--if you can't meet the minimum requirements of being news professionals or even adults, you should get off TV, now. Go whimper under your beds and cover your eyes and stay there, forever.

Meanwhile, I wish Thomas and his family good health and happiness.


Anonymous said...

I wish EVERYONE well.I always enjoy your blog.I am shocked there aren't a lot more reactions and comments. Your writing is insightful and enlightened.Expression by individuals shows growth.What are we here for if we don't grow and change from our experiences? Tank you for being a strong, clear voice.

place in sun said...

As a new blogger, I'm happy to know there are a few people out there reading along. Thanks for the comment and encouragement.