While defending a female reporter under attack by the left-wing blog FireDogLake, the Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg dismisses the criticism of the female reporter with the words, “The evidence? A single tweet.” Fair enough. But Rosenberg then proceeds to use a single FireDogLake blog post to blame the Netflix original series “House of Cards” for making life harder for women in DC.
My guess is that Rosenberg isn’t so much defending this female reporter as she is hoping to use the incident as a way to shame “House of Cards” (and other television shows she disapproves of) into portraying women like her in the way she would like to see herself portrayed.
Rosenberg’s ludicrous stretch here — trying to connect the dots from an extremist left-wing site to a television show — should not have passed the editorial laugh test. Still, the headline reads, “How ‘House Of Cards’ fantasies make Washington harder for women“:
FireDogLake’s slam on Gray comes at a moment when pop culture is obsessed with Washington, and specifically with ethically flexible women who are being manipulated by powerful men.
First and most relevant to the specific terms of [FireDogLake’s] attack on [this female reporter] is Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) from “House Of Cards,” the young female reporter who jump-starts her career by beginning an affair with Congressman Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey). …
As a young woman in Washington who’s been perfectly capable of functioning without some man giving me dictation, it all gets a little bit exhausting. … For young women working in politics and journalism in Washington, the reality’s much closer to Amy’s [HBO’s Veep] good-enough salary and crushing workload than it is to Zoe Barnes’ seduction and downfall or Quinn’s [from “Scandal”] descent into espionage and captivity. The hours are long; the credit is intermittent. But at least sometimes, even if it’s an inch or two at a time, we get to advance our own priorities.
Gosh, it must be hard living in the DC area, enjoying a privileged byline at one of the most powerful and influential newspapers in the world, and even being able to use that byline to publicly opine about just how tough your life is.
And then these awful television shows come along and use your gender and profession for dramatic license, just like television shows do to those who are not among the elite and powerful.
Terrible thing. Terrible, terrible thing.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC