Friday, May 22, 2009

Who is Elisabeth Hasselback? And why should we care?

So, I was watching Jesse Ventura's evisceration of Elisabeth Hasselbeck on "The View" the other day and couldn't help but wonder why anyone would possibly care about her political insights - or relative lack of them.

Unlike Matt Yglesias, I can at least understand the fascination with Meghan McCain. She's the daughter of a prominent U.S. politician, she spent a good bit of the past year campaigning for her father, she occasionally says sensible things and she can be charming on occasion.

However, I really need someone to explain Hasselbeck's ascendancy to me. I know that she is married to a former NFL quarterback and that she was once a finalist on a very popular reality TV show.

Then again, I don't see anyone taking Hoopz's thoughts about abortion, the Iraq War or torture all that seriously.

Even compared to the relative career accomplishments of the other panelists on "The View," Hasselbeck comes up short. And that includes Sherri Shepherd.

I don't really begrudge Hasselbeck her success. I just want to know how it happened, and why people continue to engage her in serious political debate.

Post-script: Ventura also did quite a number on Sean Hannity. Check it out.


Jack T. said...

Jesse Ventura has been smacking torture apologists around lately. It's been fun to watch.

Hasselback is the latest in a line of women the conservative movement has been perfecting: "attractive" (meh), blonde, excitable women who spout the conservative talking points. They turn on the charm at certain points, and bust out the claws at others. They usually can't stand to have their viewpoint questioned and can play the victim card just as well as the folks they dislike for doing the same. I would include Ann Coulter in this number, but she's a special kind of crazy.

blackink said...

I know. I forgot how much I liked Ventura ... not sure that I want him running my government but he'd make a nice representative, don't you think?

And you're right about Hasselbeck. Yeah, she's cute and perky and all that. Sorta like Palin. And nothing like Coulter ... she lacks any evidence of charm or nuance.

But yeah, if that prototype is the conservative hope for spreading their message, no wonder they're in such dire straits. It's not a substitute for substance. That's cool for sideline reporters and weekend TV anchors but not for a well of serious political thought.

Anonymous said...

I love it. Hasselbeck is annoying. I've thought that her right wing conservative view was misinformed from day one.

maria said...

so you really weren't aware of her when she was a mouthpiece for mccain and then went to the white house and met bush and her kid did some disgusting kid thing, head putting or she fell or whatever...i didn't care enough to keep the details straight.

this show was on tv at my gym and there's no way to change the channel. so i saw a bit.

my question is not about hassleback. it was that i thought SHE was pregnant one, not whoppi.

that show is REALLY hard on the eyes.

blackink said...

Like, I've been aware of her for awhile now. But I guess, over time, over the past few months, I've become curious as to why her every inane argument - and subsequent thrashing - generates headlines and YouTube views?

I'm probably answering my own question: she's interesting. But has she ever made an argument that held up to scrutiny, or to moderate rebuttal?

Whom has she ever bested in a debate?

She's like the Clippers of political discourse.

maria said...

i'd put her in the same category as cheney, tho he's a lot harder to ignore. and more dangerous.

there's a facebook group called tell cheney to shut the hell up. maybe hassleback should have one, too.

KST said...

"She's like the Clippers of political discourse"

*Ouch* and Lol

Little Lisabeth really started gaining media attention as a political pundit(hehee)during Rosie's tenure on the show. Rosie was cast as the big meanie picking on poor little Lisabeth.

I'm not a huge fan of Rosie, but the media obsession with that feud made me sick. As the "debates" heated up on the show, Lisabeth became more of a media darling. These verbal fistucffs led to her appearances on mccains behalf being deemed *newsworthy*...

Kia said...

The "family values" wing of the Republican party has long used perky breeding types, with cut throat ambition and full fledged careers outside the home to peddle the superiority of kinder and hearth. I'm not sure what Caitlin Flanagan's politics are but she's a prime example of espousing a lifestyle that is very far from her reality.

Granted Hasslebeck doesn't appear to have the virulent strain of homophobia common with some of her predecessors like Phyllis Schlafly. But her response about providing healthcare for uninsured kids "what about the parents" really must be seen to fully grasp what a heartless shell of a human being she is.

And FWIW, I have young kids and left a corporate job for life on the domestic front. My life, my decisions. I'm happy that I have a choice and with the one I made. Different jobs suit different people, I don't need Bitsy, Oprah or anyone else proclaiming it the hardest job on earth.

Zen said...

Outside of sharing a birthday with you E. Hassbeenbentbackwards is irrelevant. A pretty face behind plenty of annoying sound bytes.

blackink said...

Yeah, she ain't a dime. But I could appreciate that she was cute in her way. I'm thinking of her days on "Survivor," mostly.