November 30th, 2017

Honor/shame versus guilt; obedience to authority

The Today show has never been part of my life. I’m most definitely not a morning person. And I’m not a TV news person either. So although I was familiar with the name “Matt Lauer,” he’s not only not been a fixture in my life, he’s someone who before yesterday I probably knew virtually nothing about except that he was a TV newsperson (and that he reminded me somewhat of Saturday Night Live’s Kevin Nealon in looks).

So my interest in the Lauer story—two longish posts yesterday, one short and one long today—isn’t an interest an Lauer himself. It’s an interest in what his story says about the phenomenon as a whole. Of course, there’s the danger of generalizing. But here’s what I’ve gleaned from today’s MSM revelations.

Lauer has released a mea culpa of sorts that goes like this [emphasis mine]:

There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.

Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.

Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.

What I take away from that statement—what fairly leapt out at me—was the emphasis on shame rather than guilt. You can read a lot of definitions of the difference between the two, but I’m using them in the way I learned them back in college, which differs from some of those definitions. What I see in Lauer—and what I suspect is common with a lot of the famous people who have been named as sexual predators—is that he seems to have never really considered what he was doing until the public revelations and condemnation.

In other words, he felt little or no internal guilt about it. He now feels shame, however, because it has become public.

This distinction is relevant even if Lauer thought every single sexual encounter he had was consensual. Leaving aside whether that’s true or not, let’s just assume it’s true. Even then, as a married man, he would be guilty of breaking his marriage vows. Not just once or twice, but over and over and over in a sort of compulsive womanizing. But he seems not to have considered taking a “very hard look” at his “troubling flaws” until they were publicly revealed. And that’s if we believe the sincerity of his statement; it may not even be sincere.

That’s not quite psychopathic territory, but it’s morally troubling just the same. And I don’t think it’s in the least uncommon. For many people, their internal conscience has gone awry, and it’s what the public knows (whether “the public” be as large as Lauer’s was or as small as a village) that counts. There are whole cultures that seem to run that way—called “honor/shame” cultures—but ours is not ordinarily one of them.

That brings us to a different topic that came out today, the story told by one of Lauer’s accusers. If Lauer’s “confession” brought shame/guilt to mind, her tale makes me think of Stanley’s Milgram’s “obedience to authority” research.

I’ve written about the research before; here’s part of my summary of what it was about:

The gist of it was Milgram’s shocking (literally) finding that ordinary people in this country could be persuaded to inflict what they thought were painful electric jolts to “subjects” (actually, actors) in what was billed as a learning experiment, if an authoritative “researcher” (also an actor) told them it was okay.

This was true for most subjects even if the “victim” was screaming in pain and complained of a weak heart. It was also true if the “doctor” didn’t have a white coat, and was in a lab in a seedier part of town. No actual shocks were administered, but I recall that, in follow-up interviews, most of the subjects thought the shocks were real.

Milgram varied the details of the experiment over and over (read his book if you have time; it’s a masterpiece of its genre), but the results always pointed to the troubling fact that the majority of people failed to “question authority”…

I brought up Milgram more recently in one of my posts on women’s reactions to sexual overtures by powerful men, wondering why so many seemed compliant even when they didn’t want to say “yes” (I’m leaving out the many silent ones who apparently said yes and wanted to, or decided to do it to further their careers). In that post I also mentioned the favorite saying of everybody’s mother “If he jumped off a cliff, would you follow him?”

Apparently, as with many of Milgram’s subjects (women and men) the answer is “yes, if he’s a powerful person who might hurt my career.” Or maybe even “yes, if he’s a powerful person.”

Which brings us to the newest story by a Lauer accuser, appearing in the NY Times [emphasis mine]:

The woman who described the encounter in 2001 with Mr. Lauer in his office told The Times that the anchor had made inappropriate comments to her shortly after she started as a “Today” producer in the late 1990s.

While traveling with Mr. Lauer for a story, she said, he asked her inappropriate questions over dinner, like whether she had ever cheated on her husband. On the way to the airport, she said, Mr. Lauer sat uncomfortably close to her in the car; she recalled that when she moved away, he said, “You’re no fun.”

As far as I’m concerned, all of this is fairly mild and commonplace stuff, particularly in the late 90s. The bad part come later [emphasis mine]:

In 2001, the woman said, Mr. Lauer, who is married, asked her to his office to discuss a story during a workday. When she sat down, she said, he locked the door, which he could do by pressing a button while sitting at his desk. (People who worked at NBC said the button was a regular security measure installed for high-profile employees.)

The woman said Mr. Lauer asked her to unbutton her blouse, which she did.

Let’s pause here and contemplate that. Lauer is about to be unfaithful to his wife and is sexually approaching a subordinate as well; not good. But he asks her to unbutton her blouse and she complies. What was he supposed to think other than that she was consenting? Of course, there’s the power differential that he is ignoring and that was operating. But still, it seems that no overt coercion of any sort was involved (except whatever coercion she felt in her head, including being afraid of losing her job if she didn’t comply). But surely an adult ought to be able to resist something he or she really really doesn’t want to do—something as unusual as a woman unbuttoning a blouse—even if she thinks she might suffer some job consequences?

Would she obey anything Lauer had asked her, because of this fear? Or because of obedience to authority? What are the limits? What on earth is going on here? Is she an automaton with no mind of her own and no ability to say “no”? What kind of people are we churning out (she’s not of the younger generation, either; by my estimate she must be close to 60 now)? Her reaction seems to not be atypical, either. But why would she unbutton her blouse unless someone had a gun pointed at her head? Yes, yes, I know; he’s the boss, he’s a big wheel and all that. But what about integrity? What about self-respect? Are these archaic words?

To continue the story:

She said the anchor then stepped out from behind his desk, pulled down her pants, bent her over a chair and had intercourse with her. At some point, she said, she passed out with her pants pulled halfway down. She woke up on the floor of his office, and Mr. Lauer had his assistant take her to a nurse.

The woman told The Times that Mr. Lauer never made an advance toward her again and never mentioned what occurred in his office. She said she did not report the episode to NBC at the time because she believed she should have done more to stop Mr. Lauer. She left the network about a year later.

So at some point during the awful incident she actually seems to have fainted, which is rather classically Victorian. Until the moment she passed out, however, she seems to have remained silently compliant; at least, the article doesn’t mention her saying she even tried to fight him off or to verbally object. As the story stands, it seems that Lauer probably took her unbuttoning her blouse for consent to intercourse, and nothing disabused him of that notion until she passed out, when he became alarmed and summoned help. He never repeated the act, she never reported it, and there’s no mention of any consequences to her job (although she did leave a year later, perhaps because of how uncomfortable she was in that atmosphere).

This is not an excuse for Lauer, who is at best a compulsive philanderer and an insensitive clod. The story, however, is about something worse than that—a rape from her point of view. But should he have seen it that way, given her seeming compliance? And why did she cooperate? She sounds like the proverbial deer in the headlights, frozen in fear or shock. I can well understand acting that way if there’s a threat of bodily harm for resistance, but she doesn’t even allege that sort of thing. In fact, she (or the article, anyway) doesn’t explain her frozen state at all.

No doubt there’s more to the story. I don’t know if we’ll ever hear it. I probably won’t write anything more about Lauer, either; I’m heartily sick of the subject. But I think it tells us quite a bit about the mindset of offenders who are seemingly-conscienceless-but-shame-based and of certain frozen-in-fear/confusion/shock victims who cannot seem to muster up the courage to say “No!” to authority.

45 Responses to “Honor/shame versus guilt; obedience to authority”

  1. Harry the Extremist Says:

    In some-what related news, Im waiting to see what blows out of the Conyers/Pelosi kerfuffle. That could be rather tasty: When Identity politics clash. Conyers mouthpiece saying it isnt up to Pelosi to tell Conyers what to do after originally siding with him over his victims who are supposed to always be believed.
    Grabbing for the popcorn now.

  2. y81 Says:

    Also, isn’t the woman married? (Unless she had gotten divorced between the two episodes.) I certainly hope (and, in fact, firmly believe) that my wife would not unbutton her blouse at the behest of another man, regardless of how powerful he was.

  3. Dave Says:

    thank you thank you neo for helping me solve a mystery that has been lingering in mind for the last two days that i have been trying to figure out – Matt Lauer reminds me of some snl guy but i just couldn’t pin point who that person is. Steve Carell, Ben Stiller and even chevy Chase but just not quite exact – now I know the name of the guy I was searching for – Kevin Nealon

  4. Griffin Says:

    As someone here mentioned the other day on thread related to this (aren’t they all), conflation is a real problem with this entire panic. Someone who is drugged or physically forced into sex I have much more sympathy for than someone who made a calculated career choice to have a sexual relationship with a powerful man with the knowledge that their career may benefit.

    It seems to me that even the women who may not have been super thrilled with this looked at it as something that they needed to do for advancement. People have to do all kinds of things they don’t really want to do for career advancement and many of them they probably shouldn’t have to do but that’s life.

    Again, I’m only referring to those who willingly went along with this and in both the Weinstein and Lauer case there were apparently some women that were willing participants.

  5. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I’m struck by the similarity of Lauer’s apology to Franken’s and, like Franken the ONLY “shame” they feel is at being caught and exposed.

    “There are whole cultures that seem to run that way—called “honor/shame” cultures—but ours is not ordinarily one of them.”

    WAS not one of them. The culture of the Left is most definitely one of shame/honor. The ONLY sin is getting caught for if it feels good for the perpetrator, it cannot be sinful in and of itself.

    Which perhaps is why the right’s traditional moral standards are so offensive to the left.

  6. AesopFan Says:

    I posted some cartoons over at “the latest firee” but, on reflection, the last one is not really applicable to the cases we are seeing boil out of the woodwork lately (rather like Gnurrs).

    This one shows two armed women at the watercooler with the punchline quoted:
    http://bizarro.com/comics/june-26-2017/

    “I don’t know if the open carry policy has made this a safer place to work, but it certainly has reduced sexual harassment.”

    While the Equalizers might help a women fight off the stranger-rapist (and props to her in that case), no amount of armament would derail the power-rapist, for the reasons Neo discusses here.

    All the women had to do, in what we are hearing about Lauer and Franken especially, was decide that their career (or avoiding embarrassment) was not worth the price being asked.
    I doubt any of the not-Weinstein-group would have continued with a Goldbergesque rape-rape if confronted with a firm NO or some screaming.
    Even Weinstein might have been stoppable early in his career of debauchery if he had been turned down more often.
    The ones that resorted to drugs (alleged about Cosby, possibly proven) or enforcers (Bill Clinton and his private police) are a different case.

    IIRC no one is alleging that Moore proceeded after being told NO, unless I have missed an episode of the soap opera.

  7. zat Says:

    “The woman said Mr. Lauer asked her to unbutton her blouse, which she did.

    Let’s pause here and contemplate that.”

    I did and I can only say that I find the deer in the headlights scenario much more unlikely than a boiling frog scenario where a threat is arising gradually.
    It all must have started with jokes, with laughter, with harmless violations of a code of conduct.

    If I remember correctly, this also played a role at Milgram’s experiment.

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    y81:

    I read somewhere that she was separated from her husband at the time.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    zat:

    If a woman doesn’t know the difference between jokes and unbuttoning her blouse, there’s something really wrong.

  10. n.n Says:

    The woman said Mr. Lauer asked her to unbutton her blouse, which she did.

    If I didn’t know better, I would think we’re begin trolled. Why would she comply with this request and its progress?

  11. zat Says:

    The article about Foot-in-the-door technique explains it better:

    The principle involved is that a small agreement creates a bond between the requester and the requestee. Even though the requestee may only have agreed to a trivial request out of politeness, this forms a bond which – when the requestee attempts to justify the decision to themselves – may be mistaken for a genuine affinity with the requester, or an interest in the subject of the request. When a future request is made, the requestee will feel obliged to act consistently with the earlier one.

    Of course, politeness is not the only motivation.
    And this is a manipulation technique. A good manipulator could even make jokes about manipulation to signal the requestee: “You are too smart to be manipulated. There is no risk if you play along.” Which makes it harder and harder for the requestee to find an escape.

  12. zat Says:

    neo: “If a woman doesn’t know the difference between jokes and unbuttoning her blouse, there’s something really wrong.”

    The article about Boiling frog also mentions sorites paradox: It describes a hypothetical heap of sand from which individual grains are removed one at a time, and asks if there is a specific point when it can no longer be defined as a heap.

    If the code of conduct is the heap of sand and the rules are removed one at a time over a long time, then there is no specific point where you can say this isn’t a joke anymore. One can even assume that the woman felt guilty afterwards for playing along. That’s the art of manipulation, giving her the impression that she could handle it and control the situation. And, yes, she could say no (I guess). But, presumeably, she was manipulated to go along to a certain point where Lauer felt he could declare her as a complicit and force her to accept the last step.

  13. Cornhead Says:

    Burn down the media-industrial complex and move it to Des Moines. Meredith has bought Time.

  14. expat Says:

    Someone should offer these guys a blow job and then bite them hard. I just really can’t believe people are more interested in their careers than anything else. When did sex become so removed from relationships? Something is definitely wrong with our society.

  15. zat Says:

    That link I gave above doesn’t work, here is a better one: Foot-in-the-door technique

  16. zat Says:

    n.n. “If I didn’t know better, I would think we’re begin trolled. Why would she comply with this request and its progress?”

    Some manipulation techniques are a sure thing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqakcpuhTrE
    (Inoffensive clip in my opinion).

  17. Ann Says:

    When did sex become so removed from relationships? Something is definitely wrong with our society.

    That made me think of an article I read several years ago —
    Are You There God? It’s Me, Monica: How nice girls got so casual about oral sex”; a short extract:

    The moms in my set are convinced—they’re certain; they know for a fact—that all over the city, in the very best schools, in the nicest families, in the leafiest neighborhoods, twelve- and thirteen-year-old girls are performing oral sex on as many boys as they can. They’re ducking into janitors’ closets between classes to do it; they’re doing it on school buses, and in bathrooms, libraries, and stairwells.

    The article is still a shocker to me.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    zat:

    Sorry, I don’t buy it.

    There are things you do for “politeness.” Showing your breasts just is not one of them. Alarms should go off, and it doesn’t matter what manipulation technique someone is using.

    Unless, of course, you are ambivalent about sexual contact with that person. But then it’s not for politeness, it’s for other reasons that she’s complying.

    They were not playing a game of strip poker. And if they were, she failed to mention it.

  19. Frog Says:

    I have read an authoritative opinion, I forget whose, that held the basis of Islamic culture is shame, and the basis of Judaeo-Christian cultures is guilt.

    But as to breasts and the showing thereof, does it not strike anyone else that bare breasts have been the norm in many places since humankind began, and remain so? In the sweltering places of the globe, of course.

  20. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    Of course. And it’s irrelevant.

    We are in this culture, and the mores of this culture apply—unless you’re suggesting that the accuser was born and raised in New Guinea or some other tribal area where it was the norm to walk around with bare breasts.

    She had on a blouse. She unbuttoned it. I’m not sure what your point is, unless just to say that customs about this are different in different places.

  21. TommyJay Says:

    I agree completely with the gist of Neo’s post. But these people are not employees at a petrochemical plant. Lauer wasn’t just powerful, but also a celebrity and not bad looking.

    Neo says or implies, “What was this woman thinking?” And now I’m in conjecture territory; I’ll bet when the woman regained consciousness she thought, “What was I thinking??”

    A groupie will literally throw herself at a celebrity. What about someone who is almost a groupie? Matt Lauer asked me to unbutton my blouse. How cool is that! (I presume she was wearing a bra.)

    This would certainly undercut her rape claim, and in a court of law I would not convict on rape as a juror anyway. On the other hand, even if she was a total groupie, I’d consider Lauer’s behavior completely unacceptable and would fire him as his boss.

    I’ll admit that the incident in the car where she moved away from Lauer undercuts my conjecture, but even if her telling is true, it is not necessarily the whole truth. How much resisting or not resisting was she really doing?
    ____

    I’d love to read more about Neo’s guilt/shame thoughts even if she tired of the men-behaving-badly theme.

  22. CV Says:

    Neo, I’m glad you mentioned that particular Lauer story (the sex followed by fainting behind his locked office door) because it has been baffling to me. Setting aside the power differential for the moment, it sounds like a case of regretted sex rather than forced sex or rape. Except for the fainting part, which doesn’t really add up. He didn’t unbutton her blouse for her.

    I can’t imagine that any job, even the brass ring of a national broadcast news position, would be be worth compromising one’s personal dignity to that degree. It’s not blaming the victim, and it’s not excusing Lauer’s revolting behavior. It’s just another case of casual sex with a very sad aftermath.

  23. Cornhead Says:

    Looked at that Atlantic story. All I can say is thank you Bill Clinton for wrecking our country and maybe the world. Stellar job giving North Korea nukes in 1994.

    I saw him twice. What a pathetic loser. Glad his wife was defeated.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    CV:

    Unbuttoning her blouse voluntarily does not mean she wanted him to flip her around and have intercourse with her. From the description, it sounds like the progression from unbuttoning to penetration happened very very quickly and took her by surprise/shock. Doesn’t sound consensual to me at all, but I think he took the unbuttoning to be consent to the whole shebang (literally) that HE had in mind from the start.

  25. Frog Says:

    Of course we are in this (our) culture), but my point on exposed breasts was lost on you, and that is that exposed breasts are not an automatic come-on for mankind in general. We are physiologically and autonomically wired in the same way, globe-wide, though cultures modify that somewhat. In our culture, a woman voluntarily exposing her breasts to a man in privacy is an erotic act, an act readily and widely understood as an enticement to further frolic.

  26. AesopFan Says:

    Ann Says:
    November 30th, 2017 at 7:18 pm
    When did sex become so removed from relationships? Something is definitely wrong with our society.

    That made me think of an article I read several years ago —
    “Are You There God? It’s Me, Monica: How nice girls got so casual about oral sex”; a short extract:

    The article is still a shocker to me.
    * *
    That was very shocking, although I can’t say I take everything in the Atlantic at face value (I cruised through their other offerings today and the degree of built-in anti-conservative bias is…shocking).
    However, what most astonished me was the date — 2006. If that’s what was happening 10 years ago, what are the girls and boys doing NOW?

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    Your point was rather obscure to me; it didn’t seem to follow from the post, so I couldn’t figure out what you might be trying to get at. But yes, different zones can be erogenized in different cultures.

    The Victorians apparently were very turned on by ankles.

  28. DDS Says:

    No one wanted Megyn

  29. William Graves Says:

    If you choose to see how we got here, just review episodes of “The Bob Cummings Show?” Hollywood giveth and Hollywood taked away, blessed be their name. I recall reading a post…a response to university consent rules, wherein the author noted something like…”If I ask her to raise her butt so I can slide her panties off, and she does it, that to me is consent.”

  30. DDS Says:

    Neo
    I know you will love This

  31. zat Says:

    A text about shame vs. guilt cultures, if someone is interested.

  32. Sharon W Says:

    “The Today show has never been part of my life.” –Neo
    Me neither and ditto on TV news for the last 20 years. Your posts on this subject have been excellent. The only circumstance I can imagine myself submitting to unwanted sex or “fooling around” (assuming in this case when she unbuttoned her blouse she didn’t think it would go that far) is if a life was at stake. As in the case of Irene Opdyke.

    http://blog.godreports.com/2017/02/she-hid-jews-in-wwii-then-became-a-nazis-sex-slave-after-she-was-discovered/

    For a job, a career..no way, not ever.

  33. CV Says:

    Point taken Neo. I guess that’s why she passed out. But if unbuttoning one’s blouse behind a closed door isn’t a signal of consent, I don’t know what is. A grown woman should not have been surprised by what happened next. Lauer’s actions were way beyond boorish, but there were mixed signals to say the least. What were the potential consequences for “disobeying authority” by refusing to unbutton her blouse in this situation? Possibly losing a plum job in national broadcast news?

  34. Mr. Frank Says:

    What is driving much of this is a major shift in the workplace that society has not adjusted to. Until fairly recently the workplace was a male place. There were a few female fields like teaching, nursing, and phone operator. Those jobs were largely dead end and not careers. Men at work were surrounded by men so sex was largely a non issue. Now that women have careers to lose, they can be pressured.

    The liberal view that women are just like men doesn’t reflect reality. when the Army and Navy put women in male combat units, the end is clear.

    For good reason many Catholic schools and colleges were single sex.

  35. Lizzy Says:

    “If that’s what was happening 10 years ago, what are the girls and boys doing NOW?”

    It’s even more depressing if this Vanity Fair article is any indication: “Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”

    https://preview.tinyurl.com/y74vj7nk

    In light of this total destruction of courting/dating norms paired with meaningless, near anonymous sex, is it any wonder there’s a whole lot of mixed signals and inappropriate behavior at the workplace?

  36. Mike K Says:

    “There are whole cultures that seem to run that way—called “honor/shame” cultures—but ours is not ordinarily one of them.”

    Originally, civilization was organized around a shame/honor principle. If you were harmed or your family was harmed, you got revenge or you prevented the act yourself, if you were head of the family or the enforcer wing of the family.

    Eventually, as civilization “progressed,” we turned that responsibility over to authority. We became an “authority culture” where revenge and prevention were deferred from the individual to the authority.

    Recently, we have become a “victim culture” in which being a victim gave a sort of moral authority to the victim. In fact, this has progressed to the point that victims may magnify their victimhood to obtain more authority.

    It may become necessary, as the victim culture progresses, to return to the shame/honor culture. We already see some moves this way with CCW and “stand your ground” laws.

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    Mr. Frank:

    Women have long been in the workplace with men, just in subordinate roles. The men were the doctors, the women the nurses. Lots of hanky-panky there. The men were the executives, the women the secretaries. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how much sex there was.

    For example, this song from the Broadway musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” opened on Broadway circa 1961 (this is from the 1967 film version).

  38. neo-neocon Says:

    CV:

    She consented to blouse unbuttoning but not to sex. There are quite a few missing steps in there, at least in the minds of most women (grown women, at that). Ever hear of the old “first base, second base, third…”? If I recall correctly, it was fourth base that constituted intercourse. And lest you think that’s hopelessly old-fashioned, women do not ordinarily think that unbuttoning a blouse gives a green light to immediate sex, particularly when the couple is not married or even any kind of a couple at all—when it’s the first time they’ve had anything sexual to do with each other.

  39. AesopFan Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    December 1st, 2017 at 1:16 pm
    CV:

    She consented to blouse unbuttoning but not to sex. There are quite a few missing steps in there, at least in the minds of most women
    * *
    With all due respect, there are NO missing steps for many (most?) men, and men in Lauer’s position especially.

    There may be no missing steps for women either, judging from Lizzy’s link to Vanity Fair.

    FWIW, It looked to me like the complainant was more upset at being “dropped” than by the intercourse (even as horrifying as that probably was, since she fainted — read the VF article about what the women interviewed thought of their “partners”).

    “The woman told The Times that Mr. Lauer never made an advance toward her again and never mentioned what occurred in his office. She said she did not report the episode to NBC at the time because she believed she should have done more to stop Mr. Lauer. She left the network about a year later.”

  40. Bonkti Says:

    “Matt, take a cold shower and get back to me in the morning.”

  41. blert Says:

    The poor victim most likely passed out because Lauer is plainly fixated on sodomy. (Hence the sex toys he sent created shock and dismay.)

    Hence the reason that Matt was compelled to call for medical help. (the physical damage.) No wonder the gal was too ashamed to file a rape report — for that’s what Matt did to her.

  42. neo-neocon Says:

    blert:

    I don’t want to get too technical here, but no, I don’t think that’s what she’s saying or even hinting at. It’s possible to perform the usual type of intercourse from that position, quite possible.

    I’ll leave it at that.

  43. neo-neocon Says:

    AesopFan:

    You’re imagining something that’s not there. There’s no indication she was upset at being dropped. She had resisted his advances earlier. She doesn’t seem to have been interested in him, from the start.

    And of course there are some people who go from practically nothing to full-fledged intercourse in about 1 second. It’s not the usual thing, though, to say “Hey, Ms. Smith, would you please unbutton your blouse?” and then suddenly “Wham, bam, thank you ma’m.”

  44. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I suppose the act of unbuttoning can be taken as a first step with the following steps presumed by both sides.
    Otherwise, why bother.
    Hefner made a lot of money with unbuttoned breasts and it would follow that the act might seem like the opening act, not the entire thing.

    What I don’t get is the network’s conclusion that he was worth millions in revenue on his show. I don’t watch those shows for any reason and so I can’t comment. But couldn’t any cheerful, well-spoken, better looking than average, guy pull viewers? After all, they’re not paying him to do stand up. He’s acting and reacting to all the things the producers and writers have pulled together.

  45. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Aubrey:

    Not having watched Lauer or his show, I can’t say why he’d be worth gazillions of dollars. But for whatever reasons, he must have been good for ratings. They usually have figures on this stuff before they give out the big big bucks.

    O’Reilly was also the big moneymaker at Fox. I don’t know what his great appeal was, either, but at least he had a more distinctive (brash, arrogant) style.

    Both had their start in regular news.

    Or maybe they slept with someone to get ahead 🙂 .

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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Monthly Archives



Blogroll

Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

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