Sarah Palin

Kerry Howley on "America's most-read woman columnist"


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."

Whole thing here. Reason on Kathleen Parker here.

NEXT: The Richard Hofstadter Drinking Game

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  1. I’ve never even heard of this chick before. But if that’s what’s she looks like then, yeah, I’d most likely do her if she asked nicely.

    1. Try to be a gentleman, Billy, even though it gets hard.

      1. Ha ha ha ha, good one Brian.

  2. Never ‘eard ov ‘er.

    1. Nor have I, but that’s not the point. We should have heard of her. That we haven’t diminishes us.

  3. So, just to make sure I understand, this person’s claim to pseudo-fame is that she was formerly perceived as conservative, even though by her own admission she really wasn’t, and now writes nasty about Sarah Palin?

    1. Apparently you did not read the article.

  4. “So, just to make sure I understand, this person’s claim to pseudo-fame is that she was formerly perceived as conservative, even though by her own admission she really wasn’t, and now writes nasty about Sarah Palin?”

    But surely one cannot base page views (at this stage) on simply being negative about Mrs Palin?

    [I say this but mentions the ex-governor of Alaska rather more than for instance National Review Online. Those younguns seem transfixed by her]

  5. Kerry Howell is the greatest everything of all time and i still have a huge crush on her going on 5 years.

    1. Fag

    2. Statist!

    3. She looks adorable in her twitter profile pic *swoon*

    4. How do you do the homer simpson drool? aghaghaghhgahhah.

    5. You can have her. I’ve always hoped that that turnip Wilkinson would eventually wake up and sell her off to some Ted Nugent or Stanley Kowalski type.

  6. Kerry Howley totally deseves her own Roxy Music album cover.

    1. Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Must wipe image from mind……

      1. That was the only good song off that fucking album. Damn good thing I only borrowed it from the library.

        1. What the-? I loved that album, but then I’m the only person I know who likes Roxy Music.

          1. Seriously, Penguin, you missed the genius of “Beauty Queen” and “In Every Dream Home a Heartache”. Especially the latter.

            1. I was more into the middle/late period stuff (Country Life – Avalon), but haven’t listened to them for years because I associate it with a bad breakup….

  7. The stupidest thing about this is I am not the only person on the right who’s read or heard about just about everybody, but to this day still has no idea who this supposed Conservative apostle gone rogue actually is.

    1. I used to read multiple dailies before the Death of the Newspaper.I know who Kathleen Parker is.I never knew she was perceived to be a “conservative”.I guess she is to the right of Bonnie Erbe or something.

  8. In Kerry Howley’s article, she explains how Parker wasn’t exactly a conservative in the first place.

  9. Kerry Howley totally deseves her own Roxy Music album cover.

    Stranded. But the whole gang should get one. Gillespie: For Your Pleasure. Balko: Avalon. Lonewacko and whoever said “Shut the fuck up!” first: Viva!

    1. yeah, who did say “shut the fuck up, Lonewacko” first? Every time I see STFULW, I think of that Simpsons episode with the 32 d’ohs.

      1. I think that was Warty. He’ll take credit for it, even if it wasn’t.

      2. It was Warty. And if you don’t give him credit for it, he’ll rape you. Well, he’ll rape you anyway, but…rape-ier.

        1. I was going to make a fencing joke out of your last post, but that would probably get me on the list.

  10. a 2007 Media Matters report ranked her third among all columnists in terms of the number of newspapers that carry the column, just behind George Will and Cal Thomas.

    Wow Cal Thomas is #2?I’ve liked ol’ Cal ever since I read that essay by his neighbor (author/mathematician) Rudy Rucker but his columns are kind of bland and inoffensive for a rightwing social conservative.

  11. Howley needs to get one of those bi-weekly columns on the women’s Features page of a flyover daily.

    I’m not a Howley fan but the Parker profile piece was a well done little trifle.

  12. I had a girlfriend who had eyes like Kerry’s. I’d kill for. I’d go numb and start drooling. I’d wake up an hour later in J.C. Penny’s bathroom chanting, “must kill, must kill.”
    ….sigh….. those eyes.

  13. I’m a little disappointed the following euphemisms for vagina were not used:
    Ham/Meat wallet
    Bulldog lips
    Clown car
    Tuna town
    Bearded clam
    Pudding hatch
    Bald beaver
    Squish mitten
    Yippie bog
    Bitch wrinkle
    Fur burger
    Axe/Hatchet wound
    Gut locker
    Fiddle cove
    Oyster ditch
    Vertical smile
    Stench trench
    Honey pot
    Fish taco

    1. Unless 4chan has lied to me, a vagina is not a clown car.

      1. listening to 4chan was your first mistake.

    2. Never heard of this “Kathleen Parker”, but I’ve always been partial to “misty beef curtains”

    3. This.

      Also, the constellations of Loathing.

  14. I prefer Vagina Transportation Device bu SugarFree.

  15. d’oh, I am and idiot….. that is the name for all other parts.

    1. I don’t see why a vagina can’t transport itself. Then again, it might lead to infinite vaginal regress, so you have to be careful.

      1. It’s vaginas all the way down.

        1. Sure feels that way sometimes.

  16. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  17. seven euphemisms for “vagina,”

    Some women are afraid of the word itself. “Vagina”. When they think nothing of referring to a dick or a schlong or a Johnson.

        1. hmm, you’re out of your element!

          1. That’s okay. I like my element more anyway.

        2. Scum Pump
          Headly LaMar
          Wee Willy Winky
          Suck The Magic Dragon
          Skin Stick

  18. Parker is about an uninteresting of a writer as you can get. She is never been conservative or libertarian. But since she is a liberal and a mediocrity and didn’t mind being tagged as a conservative, publishing her columns is a great way to discredit those who really are.

  19. I actually used to read Parker years ago, back when I still read the Orlando Sentinel. While Howley had fun poking some of the silly crap Parker put out, she neglected to mention columns like this one on the drug war. (sorry, the link has tons of pop-ups).

    It’s not 100% libertarian, but it’s an ass-load better than you’ll read in most places. And contra-Howley, it sure as hell isn’t “status-quo”.

    1. That is an excellent article. Gets straight to the point, stays on point, and you’re right, it is certainly not “status quo.”

    2. Great article. We need many more of them.

  20. Great stuff Howley, I think I can help you with this:

    The list of media professionals who have profited by replacing one ideology with another is well known in Washington. In Parker’s case, however, it’s not clear that she ever adhered to the ideology she is charged with abandoning.

    I recall Parker’s temperment when she posted with NRO before she got the Wa-Po gig and pointed to the tilted back side of her daisy dukes and told the Buckleyites, ‘to kiss mah white ass’ with that Palin column (though, she pretty much nailed it, content wise).

    She was a snug fit with the cast over there and adapted to their template well enough to be one of the boys, especially when it came to their favorite past time of poo-pooing leftist or supposed leftist, like Ron Paul whom she clearly did not understand. Remember when she praised Giuliani in the debates for his response where he revealed he had no idea what the concept of blow back meant?

    Her obsession with all things supposedly Southern is annoying to me. Those columns I skip or skim through. I cringe at the term ‘Bubba’, don’t care for the class based etymology behind the word ‘red-neck’, and the sight of Larry the Cable Guy makes me want to feed him to wild boars even though it is just an act.

    The self consciousness she brings to Southern Culture is far more pretentious than anything I have seen coming out of Brooklyn in regard to their cultural melieu, and the same for the set who vacations in the Hamptons as their life style is considered.

    Actually, the most unselfconscious human being I know is a guy from Connecticut who was born into money. His story for another time, I’m getting off track.

    In other words, I find her quaint Southernese embarrassing. She is a big phony, and when she digs into that well of imaginary cultural nostalgia it is about as entertaining as watching your mother dance for sailors with her skirt up over her belly, to coin a Parkerism.

  21. Great article. I know nothing of this woman, but she sounds at least vaguely interesting.

    I’ll still probably never read her. I find it hard enough keeping up with Dave Weigel’s tweets.

    1. For the last two years, I’ve read a newspaper that features a Parker column every week, and I’ve never read a single one of them all the way through.

      I often start, but they just aren’t interesting. She is to the op-ed pages what Sally Forth is to the comics.

      1. I read every one of the comics as part of some sort of obsession. I hate Sally Forth more than Garfield, Love is…, and Marmaduke combined.

        1. Marmaduke eats Bill Keane’s balls for breakfast.

          After Ms. Parker applies her special saliva sauce…

        2. Dusty Old Killjoy Forth.

          I was so hoping Ted would have an affair with that office cutie Ariel last year. Bummed out it didn’t happen.

  22. So, if I’m following, even when the mainstream media tries to find a designated conservative, they generally fuck it up and wind up with some kind of nut-bag loony-tune who can be pretty much counted on not to have had a conservative thought in her whole life, but is conveniently attacking the lefty hate object of the moment?

    Color me unsurprised.

    1. You nailed David Brooks to a “T”.

      And I bet he liked it.

      1. And prior to David Brooks there was David Gergen

  23. She needs a copy editor: “I don’t know what column he was upset about.”

    Try “which”, you witch.

    1. Back to, please

  24. “hirsute abyss of God’s little oven.”

    Kathy doesn’t shave the beaver?

    That’s hot!

  25. From Dowd to Parker? What mental giants this nation has…

  26. “…drawing a strip of chicken from her salad and feeding it into her purse…”


    1. Hint: Reading the linked article may provide context.

  27. I also ran into the back of a man’s car while stopped at a traffic light. This happened because I hated my hair.

    Umm. NO. It happened because she was a bubble-headed ditz who wasn’t paying attention to her driving.


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