So the token nice blond conservative on "The View," Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who recently popped out a baby named Taylor Thomas, has been replaced by guest host and token uber-bitch blond conservative ABC Radio talk show host, Laura Ingraham. Come now, ABC, cross-promotion aside: Surely there are other voices that could also use representation in your little femme-medley. Say, oh, maybe an Asian-American woman, a college-aged student, a Southeast Asian woman, a senior citizen or a dude? Sigh. Instead, we must resign ourselves to listening to Ingraham, who, while not an idiot (unless you're speaking to Eric Alterman, who thinks she so totally is), is so distasteful that their seething rage at her is probably one of the few things "The View" ladies can agree on.
During yesterday's show above, Whoopi Goldberg looked like she was seriously contemplating decking Ingraham. We can't say that we particularly blame her! We especially enjoyed the moment when Ingraham asks, "Do you want to win in Iraq, Barbara?" to which Walters answers "Now, come on," while looking at Ingraham as though she's a teenager whose reason has been hormone-hijacked.
During Ingraham's career at Dartmouth College, which we know a little about, Ingraham routinely avoided patronizing restaurants she suspected employed gay waiters, for fear one of them might breathe on her food, thereby infecting her with AIDS. An awkward habit to explain later, when her brother Curtis came out to her!
While working for the conservative campus paper The Dartmouth Review during the 1980s, Ingraham sent an undercover reporter to secretly tape a meeting of gay and lesbian students, under the auspices of pursuing a follow-the-money story on where a mandatory $100-per-student activities fee went. "The View's" latest guest co-host then went on to print the names of those students, who had not been made aware a reporter was present.
The piece she then ran denounced the group as "cheerleaders for latent campus sodomites."
In 1997, Ingraham wrote a piece for The Washington Post lamenting that people continue to judge her for her "deeds and misdeeds in college," and explained the Review story by noting that "The group received college funding but, unlike every other student group receiving a college grant, refused to make public its membership or budget. We wanted to find out how student funds were being spent and to demonstrate the double standard Dartmouth had created by funding the group."
She also apologized for the Review's "callous rhetoric," explaining that since learning of her brother's sexuality, "my views and rhetoric about homosexuality have been tempered—not because Curtis proselytizes on gay rights, but because I have seen him and his companion, Richard, lead their lives with dignity, fidelity and courage."
Hmmm. Okay! Standing up for your rights bad! Courageous (and quiet) dignity good! Embedded homophobic tendencies aside, we're more disturbed by her continual appearance in fraternity basements during Dartmouth's Homecoming, where she has been known to frighten more than a few frat brothers by out-drinking and out-Republican-ing them into the wee hours.