Best Of The Web
“What’s in a name? For Julie Chen, the CBS personality, who is married to Leslie Moonves, it is a code of fealty. Earlier this month, four days after Moonves resigned from his position as the chairman of CBS, following multiple allegations of workplace sexual abuse, Chen made known, in no uncertain terms, the degree of her marital commitment: “I’m Julie Chen-Moonves. Good night,” she said at the end of the September 14th episode of “Big Brother,” the reality-TV competition that she has hosted for CBS since 2000.
The sign-off, which Chen repeated on Wednesday, her second day back on the show, gave her return to television duties a defiant edge. Chen and Moonves first became involved in the early two-thousands, when Moonves was still married to his first wife. They wed in 2004, but Chen used only her maiden name at work, and casual viewers of her shows would not necessarily have known of her connection to the network’s head. Her persona on “Big Brother,” and on CBS’s “The Talk,” the women’s daytime panel show that she anchored from 2010 until her departure this month, has depended on an assertive froideur. Quasi-journalistic, Chen plays the glamorous moderator, analyzing cultural flash points but rarely entering the fray. Her new flare of passion suggests that she has now found a cause. A source close to her told CNN that Chen “has decided that her main focus needs to be clearing her husband’s name.” (In a statement announcing his resignation from CBS, Moonves called the allegations “untrue” and “not consistent with who I am.”)
The humiliations of a wife who “stands by” her husband are well known to Americans, but the momentum of #MeToo has made the role particularly vexed. A wife whose husband has behaved badly is presumed to be a conscious or unconscious accomplice, a delusional victim, or, most injuriously, a fool. How did she not know? The sexism of our culture still makes it beyond comprehension that we could hold a man accountable for his misdeeds without also doling out some blame to the caretakers around him, who we believe should be responsible for his moral maintenance. “It feels very unjust,” Rebecca Traister wrote in her excellent 2016 essay “Why Should Wives Have to Answer for Their Husbands’ Behavior?” “But for wives, answering for a husband’s misdeeds has long been part of the bargain.” Yet it also seems too simple, in this moment, to unilaterally blame male influence for the maneuvers of women who choose to use their voices to invalidate those of other women. The public-facing loyalty of the abuser’s wife destabilizes the #MeToo movement’s core vision—that women should be able to speak and be believed.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Donald Trump is the only President of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union who has been unable to “reset” the U.S. relationship with Russia."
"This past weekend Melania Trump’s spokeswoman penned an op-ed for CNN in which she criticized the media’s unrelenting criticism of the first lady... Is it true that the media have a fixation on the first lady’s fashion sense?"
"Ultra-Orthodox Jews are smarter consumers, have interest-free loan funds, and are satisfied even if they are poor, the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs has found."
"In Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, out January 8, Melissa Click delivers a collection of 15 essays by scholars exploring the many ways there are to hate, and why we love to do it."
"For more than a decade, ultrarich people from the former Soviet Union, China and the Middle East have turned to London mansions, New York high-rises, and chic properties in Vancouver, Miami and Paris to store their cash."
"Virtual worlds give back what has been scooped out of modern life . . . it gives us back community, a feeling of competence, and a sense of being an important person whom people depend on."
"It’s the end of 2019 and America’s bountiful harvest is in. But President Donald Trump is facing a crisis few contemplated the year before: a food shortage almost everywhere else in the world."
"Christopher Hitchens died seven years ago this Saturday, a decade after breaking ranks with onetime friend Gore Vidal and beginning a feud that symbolized major changes in left-wing politics."
"I could try to find out where my ancestors may have come from, but that is never going to show me what I’ve actually inherited."
"Have you eaten a Cheez-It sometime in the past eight years? If so, as they say on TV, call now because you may be entitled to compensation."
"An intelligent fish has stirred up a debate about how to measure self-awareness among animals—and what self-awareness even is in the first place."
"...either our youth walk out on Judaism or maintain a lukewarm relationship with Jewish observance; or, they become so obsessed by its finest points that they are incapable of seeing the forest from the trees."