Reason Contributing Editor Kerry Howley has a great profile over at The American Prospect of Washington's op-ed turncoat of the year, Kathleen Parker. Actually, Howley makes a convincing case that Parker's ideology was significantly misunderstood before she started writing mean things about Sarah Palin. Perhaps more importantly, the first paragraph of the profile is filled with seven euphemisms for "vagina," including but not limited to "hirsute abyss of God's little oven."
Here's a selection:
Parker's column was not, in fact, Anna Quindlen-like. It was much weirder than that. There was the Oct. 9, 1988, column in which she went for a walk, was accosted by a beggar, gave the beggar $5, and concluded that $5 was not much to pay for a nice walk. There was the March 29, 1991, column completely devoted to women's relationship to their hair. ("I also ran into the back of a man's car while stopped at a traffic light. This happened because I hated my hair.") There was the June 25, 1989, piece, prompted by a six-page pictorial history of the bra appearing in Life magazine, in which she set forth a parallel history of the jock strap. There was a June 12, 1992, column on sexist readings of scientific processes, which began, "Once upon a time, there was a sweet, helpless little egg named Ovie who lived in a dark dungeon waiting patiently to be saved by a fearless prince." […]
One would be hard-pressed under these circumstances to label Parker a loyal Republican. Indeed, she maintains that she is not and has never registered as such. It was in 1995, when Parker's column was picked up for syndication, that she became a designated voice of the right. "The way the market is set up," Parker says, "there has to be a left, there has to be a right, there has to be a conservative, there has to be a liberal, there has to be a man, a woman, a black, an Asian. Blah blah blah blah."
This political packaging came as a surprise to some. About six years ago, Keyes, Parker's former editor, was managing editor of a paper in Hawaii and searching for a right-leaning columnist to round off the op-ed page. "I called a friend of mine who's an editorial-page editor and said, 'I'm looking for a good conservative columnist,'" Keyes says. "And this person said, 'Oh, Kathleen Parker!' I said, 'What?' I thought, 'Oh, that must be another Kathleen Parker.'" […]
This is Kathleen Parker's moment. According to The Washington Post's Alan Shearer, an average columnist might break into 15 new papers a year. In September alone, while the business of news gathering was supposedly imploding, 58 papers added Parker's column to their pages. At the Post, the op-ed page's most recent addition also generates "as much or more" reader mail as anyone there. "I got one this morning that said, 'You bloody c—. You bitch,'" Parker says blithely, drawing a strip of chicken from her salad and feeding it into her purse. "He's an appraiser in Texas. He signed his name. I don't know what column he was upset about."