The Widdershins

Oh the stoopid! It burns!!!!

Posted on: June 17, 2015

angry men

Lots of angry men

You probably  have never heard of Dr. Tim Hunt.  In all honesty, neither did I until last week.  Dr. Hunt won a Nobel Prize in 2001 in Physiology or Medicine and was also given a knighthood. He had a position with the European Research Council science committee and was a member of the Royal Society, which bills itself as ” a Fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence”.  I listed all of these things in the past tense because now, Dr. Hunt is known more as “a sexist who has been stripped of most of his positions because of inappropriate comments about women in science”.

Dr. Hunt gave a speech last week in Seoul Korea and essentially committed professional suicide.

Hunt’s fall followed a speech Tuesday at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea in which he said that girls cause trouble in labs because “you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.”

Oh yeah, it’s those damned girls in the lab!  They have all those emotions and stuff!  It didn’t take long for his comments to hit and circulate through social media with Anne Perkins of The Guardian saying “his comments were ‘the educated man’s version’ of blaming rape victims because they were wearing short skirts before they were attacked.”.

There are those who have come to his defense.

Athene Donald, a leading physicist who is master of Churchill College at Cambridge University, said Hunt always enthusiastically supported her work when she served for five years as Gender Equality Champion at the university.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with him and I’ve never seen any sign of sexism,” she told The Associated Press. “He has traveled the world since he got the Nobel Prize, talking to young audiences, male and female, giving so generously, and now he has been ruined.”

Ottoline Leyser, is a former student of Hunt’s who now directs the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and she’s worried his comments could affect women who want to go into a STEM field.  “All my interactions with him were very positive,” she told the AP. “He was a very enthusiastic and inspirational teacher. I’ve no indications from my experience or from colleagues that he’s in the slightest way sexist.”

Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue, a weak attempt at humor or maybe the ole doc has just been in the lab too long.  Regardless, his comments have cost him dearly.

 * * * * *

Recently I saw Schmoe on Morning Schmoe laugh at the idea that the New York Times (that liberal bastion) might have a vendetta against Hillary Clinton, or at the least be spending an inordinate amount of space and time on negative stories on her and Bill.  But then I came  across this article on Media Matters and it does seem like the Times isn’t being balanced in their coverage.  In his piece, Eric Boehlert finds, perhaps not a concerted effort to slam Hillary, but there sure were a lot of coincidences, shall we say.  Frank Bruni suggested and tweeted that ” the Democrat’s campaign constituted “psychological torture,” which definitely sounds bad. Unsubtly headlined “Hillary the Tormentor” (because she inflicts so much pain on Democrats, apparently), Bruni’s effort was unusually overwrought even by his dramatic standards.”.

On the same day, columnist Ross Douthat opined that “Democrats supporting Clinton should consider themselves “warned” for when things go terribly wrong if she’s elected president.”.  As Boehlert wrote:

Just a coincidence where not one but two columnists for the supposedly-liberal newspaper of record unloaded on her?

Not quite.

In truth, the Bruni-Douthat tag team was a rather common occurrence among Times columnists, some of whom have banded together this year to publish a steady stream of attacks on Clinton. (Yesterday, columnist David Brooks announced Clinton’s electoral strategy is all wrong, and that it’s bad for America.) What’s unusual is that the conveyor belt of attacks hasn’t been balanced out by clear signs of Clinton support among Times columnists. More importantly, the Times’ odd brand of Clinton wrath has not been duplicated when columnists assess Republicans.  [bolding mine]

Boehlert writes that going back through a year of the Times’ essays he could not find one that “unequivocally supports the Democratic frontrunner.”.  Now, Boehlert says that there is no requirement that the Times write supportive pieces on Clinton, and I wouldn’t want any such “requirement”.  But, from his analysis of the opinion pieces written by Times columnists here is a sampling of  some of the interesting words and phrases used to describe Hillary Clinton:

Here is a small sample of what readers of Times columns have learned about Hillary Clinton this year: She gives off an “atmosphere of hostility,” “exploit[s] our better angels and our desire,” is guilty of “shakedowns,” remains “suffused with paranoia and pre-emptive defensiveness,” and boasts “self-destructive instincts.”

Times columnists have noted Clinton recently wore a “forced smile, which was practically cemented in place,” she seems “like an annoyed queen, radiating irritation at anyone who tries to hold you accountable,” and she “doesn’t sparkle with honesty and openness.” Clinton, a flip-flopping “shapeshifter,” has been around so long the electorate “has known her since the Mesozoic era,” “she looked as if she was getting sucked into the past,” and to she wants become “grandmother of our country.”

Boehlert ends his piece with this anecdote:

The Times’ institutional antagonism towards the Clintons goes back decades. During Bill Clinton’s first term, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. once told Clinton that paper had adopted a “tough love” policy towards his presidency. “I’ve seen the tough,” Clinton quipped. “Where’s the love?”

As she reads Times columnists, Hillary might be asking the same thing.

This is an open thread so take it wherever you wish Widdershins.





27 Responses to "Oh the stoopid! It burns!!!!"

Dr. Tim Hunt has the longest nose hair in recorded history. It is a shame he has no friends to tell him, “Hie Sir, get thyself a set of nose hair trimmers post haste!”

I don’t know how to copy a picture here, but just go to images on Google and type his name. A couple of days and he will be able to turn his nose hair into a handlebar nose’stache.

As for the NYT, there is no more perfect example of the Foxification of the news. In order to guard against any chance of being called biased by Fox or Limbaugh or the Cro-magnon, knuckle callused Hannity, news outlets go overboard in trying to seem “fair and balanced” by being just the opposite.

Thank you Roger Ailes.

Prolix@1: Maybe he’s working on braiding or twisting that nose hair! 😉

@2: It would seem that way wouldn’t it?

@1, ewww!
@2, agree 100%

Nice post, Fredster. My niece is majoring in biology. I hope she’ll be able to have a decent career.

annie@5: Oh I’m sure your niece will do fine in that field.

FWIW, I think the good doctor was just trying to make a light-hearted, amusing comment which backfired terribly.

I do have to admit I loved the comment Bill made to Sulzberger about tough love.

It was so hot in Baton Rouge today that Mike VI needed a swim.

Happy 130th b’day to the Lady in the Harbor! She doesn’t look a day past 101!

Just stopping in to say that I’m still alive.

Aw his life is ruined. Boo Effing Hoo.

Upps@11: Yeah, but on the bright side, he’s still got the nose hair. 😆

Glad you stopped by chat!

Alright ladies (and guys), who do you want on that ten dollar bill?

Umm…I really don’t know. Maybe Eleanor Roosevelt?

Some folks on twitter said that *supposedly* they were leaning toward Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

I had a few names running through my mind but I don’t know the criteria they will use for the selection.

Anyway, I thought about Dolly Madison, Betsy Ross…Bea Arthur. 😉

From that CNN article:

The department will launch a website, and is asking for input over social media with the hashtag #TheNew10.

What’s his criteria? Lew wants the next generation of U.S. currency to underscore the theme of American democracy. The portrait must also — by law — be of someone who is no longer living.

@14: Julia Sugarbaker

I thought they already did a poll for a famous woman to replace Andy Jackson on the $20. I guess that was just blue-sky thinking from some group. Anyway, Harriet Tubman won that one. For me it was close between her and Roosevelt, but Tubman had the edge because of her mindboggling courage.

How about Frances Perkins, the first woman to ever serve in the cabinet and led the country out of the Great Depression by leading the Labor Cabinet?

I’d be happy to see Ms. Tubman or Eleanor, both would be an improvement on Hamilton.

quixote: I guess that was then and this is now. 😉 Tubman would fit the bill, so to speak, as well as Eleanor and Frances Perkins. That criteria that the Sec’y is stating, underscore the theme of American democracy, is just really broad.

both would be an improvement on Hamilton.

Well at least they never went with Aaron Burr. 🙂

Hey all, Uppity Woman put up a post a few days ago that is ow to dwell worth a read and tells a cute story at the same time. She said I could crosspost it but I don’t know how to do that exactly so I’m just gonna say go check this out when you have a chance.

Hey Fredster! I like that Hillary tweet. Good catch!

quixote and prolix, it’s hard to choose. There are so many women that are worthy of the honor. And I agree, any of them is an improvement over Hamilton.

annie@25: Oh I think I saw that sophie had retweeted it so I wanted to add it here too.

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