December 15, 2010

Tina Brown entices Robin Givhan...

... to leave the Washington Post for the new Newsweek. What a coup!
Ms. Givhan spent 15 years at The Post, most notably as fashion editor, the job that earned her a Pulitzer in 2006 for criticism....
Her writing was famously provocative and punchy. She once described Vice President Dick Cheney’s outfit at a solemn Auschwitz memorial as “the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.”
(Link added. Picture of Cheney in his embarrassing parka at the link.)
In a column about  Condoleezza Rice, then the secretary of state, Ms. Givhan wrote about the images of sex and power that Ms. Rice’s  high boots and fitted dresses conveyed. “Rice looked as though she was prepared to talk tough, knock heads and do a freeze-frame ‘Matrix’ jump kick if necessary,” wrote Ms. Givhan.
(Link added. Pic of Condi at the link. Hey, let's see the new Secretary of State try that.)
When First Lady Michelle Obama’s sleek attire turned heads at the 2009 Inauguration, Ms. Givhan declared “the era of first lady-as-rectangle had ended.”
(Link added. With pic — showing that the era of first lady-as-Glinda had seemingly begun.)

ADDED: Above are the examples of Givhan's writing that the NYT selected. Law folk are most interested in this one about John Roberts — on the occasion of George Bush announcing his nomination to the Supreme Court. Givhan took a shot at Roberts's wife and children —  "groomed and glossy in pastel hues -- like a trio of Easter eggs, a handful of Jelly Bellies, three little Necco wafers."
There was tow-headed Jack -- having freed himself from the controlling grip of his mother -- enjoying a moment in the spotlight dressed in a seersucker suit with short pants and saddle shoes. His sister, Josie, was half-hidden behind her mother's skirt. Her blond pageboy glistened. And she was wearing a yellow dress with a crisp white collar, lace-trimmed anklets and black patent-leather Mary Janes.

(Who among us did a double take? Two cute blond children with a boyish-looking father getting ready to take the lectern -- Jack Edwards? Emma Claire? Is that you? Are all little boys now named Jack?)

The wife wore a strawberry-pink tweed suit with taupe pumps and pearls, which alone would not have been particularly remarkable, but alongside the nostalgic costuming of the children, the overall effect was of self-consciously crafted perfection. The children, of course, are innocents. They are dressed by their parents. And through their clothes choices, the parents have created the kind of honeyed faultlessness that jams mailboxes every December when personalized Christmas cards arrive bringing greetings "to you and yours" from the Blake family or the Joneses. Everyone looks freshly scrubbed and adorable, just like they have stepped from a Currier & Ives landscape.
Yeah, that was mean — but deliciously so. (Mmmm.... Necco wafers.)

Yeah, it was political. Note that Cheney was underdressed, the Robertses were overdressed, and First Lady Michelle Obama was just right.

I hope that, teamed with Tina, Robin gets even meaner and more political. I love the fashion-politics-culture genre, and I want to see Givhan do her thing. And stop fawning over Michelle Obama!

34 comments:

Skyler said...

A Pulitzer for fashion writing is like a medal of honor for being the equal employment officer.

Or like getting a Nobel peace prize.

Treacle said...

snaggle-toothed bitch leaves one employer for another. this is news?

MadisonMan said...

I like Givhan's writing. It's enjoyable to read.

I thought Rice's Matrixesque (would that be an acceptable Scrabble word?) outfit was perfect.

EDH said...

Instead, it was a knit ski cap, embroidered with the words "Staff 2001."

Cheney was just rubbing the 2000 election in the faces of liberals.

Mission Accomplished.

Rick said...

I read the 2009 piece that includes the comment about the current First Lady. Something struck me. These are Democrats supposedly on the side of the poor, "working people", and not big bad evil rich corporations and big businesses.

And yet here they are discussing which designer made their beautiful, extravagant, undoubtedly expensive dresses. Note particularly final paragraph regarding Harvard Law School dean Martinez.

Dahling - who brings just one Badgley Mischka gown to an inauguration?!?

It's really fine for this professor and others to do this. Freedom and let people use their money how they want and all that. But the juxtaposition of compassionate liberals with their lifestyle of the rich and beautiful social-cultural elite - do they not smell their own Irony No 9 perfume?

Larry J said...

Givhan's writing shows that she never matured past her junior high bitchy girl phase. But then, she's a critic. What has she ever created other than her criticism of other people?

Those who can, do.
Those who can't, teach.
Those who can't teach become administrators.
And those who can't do anything at all become critics.

Sheepman said...

I'm no Cheney fan, but health should trump fashion. The guys got a bad ticker and he had to sit outside while it's freezing. Think of what happened to William Henry Harrison.

madAsHell said...

Fashion Editor at the Daily Beast says it all, and it was the best gig available!!

How can jumping to $1-on-the-barrel-head Newsweek from the WaPo be a good idea?

oh yeah....She didn't jump, she was pushed.

c3 said...

Skyler nails it!

traditionalguy said...

But how will old sharp tongue do when she unleashes her cutting words towards Mrs. Todd Palin? Will she try too frumpy or try too glamerous? She will be countered quickly, so she had better be ready.

Rialby said...

So, Althouse, are you one of the 14 people in the world who care about this?

Jay said...

Givhan took a shot at Roberts's wife and children

Of course she did. She's a "tolerant" liberal after all.

Anyone else notice the pattern in who she took "shots" at?

Shocking, I know...

c3 said...

Professor please fix your Roberts hyperlink

campy said...

Good news, professor: I can guarantee that Givhan will stop fawning over Michelle. Probably around January 2017.

Oh, you want her to stop while Mrs. O still has power? Fuggedaboudit.

Ralph L said...

I used to buy 3 or 4 bags of Necco wafers before Halloween and finish them by Christmas. Haven't seen them in several years. Our first Walmart carried them, but never the Mexican one. Loved all flavors but chocolate.

Clyde said...

From the Lusitania to the Titanic...

edutcher said...

What Clyde said...

I believe we discussed Tina Brown associating The Daily Beast with the WaPo. This is nothing but a change of email addresses.

Sheepman said...

I'm no Cheney fan, but health should trump fashion. The guys got a bad ticker and he had to sit outside while it's freezing. Think of what happened to William Henry Harrison.

Not to mention Joe Johnston - at Sherman's funeral.

Kirk Parker said...

Meanwhile, in other news, WaPo stock is up, Newsweek down...

WV: diest. (1) Founding father with dyslexia. (2) A follower of Dr. Kevorian or Dr. Emanuel

James said...

Isn't WaPo offering resignation packages to its employees?

Kurtz is now at Daily Beast and I recall their tv guy (Shales?) has decided to take a buyout.

I'd be very surprised if Tina is paying these refugees what they earned at WaPo.

Anita said...

And stop fawning over Michelle Obama!

Robin Givahan is a lib. A lib who feels that her superiour intellect and judgment entitles her to bludgeon us with her politics while writing about fashion.

In self-satisfied libs such as Robin, the urge to lecture overwhelms her such that she can NOT just do her job - which is writing about fashion.

So, no, she won't stop fawning over Michelle Obama, no matter what butt ugly piece of shite our First Lady wears in public. Including the *ahem* upholstry fabric-flocked wallpaper dress/coat thingy in "urinary tract infection yellow/green" she wore during the inauguration ceremony and parade and the very pretty, white one shoulder gown, she wore to the inauguration ball - you know the one - it's the one which was RUINED by sticking little, balled-up pieces of toilet paper all over it.

ricpic said...

Wasn't Condi Rice one of those model conservative blacks who, guess what, pulled the lever for Obama? There must be something out there that trumped her alleged beliefs. What could it be, what could it be?...

Anita said...

And stop fawning over Michelle Obama!

Robin Givahan is a lib. A lib who feels that her superior intellect and judgment entitles her to bludgeon us with her politics while writing about fashion.

In self-satisfied libs such as Robin, the urge to lecture overwhelms her such that she can NOT just do her job - which is writing about fashion.

So, no, she won't stop fawning over Michelle Obama, no matter what butt ugly piece of shite our First Lady wears in public. Including the *ahem* upholstry fabric-flocked wallpaper dress/coat thingy in "urinary tract infection yellow/green" she wore during the inauguration ceremony and parade and the very pretty, white one shoulder gown, she wore to the inauguration ball - you know the one - it's the one which was RUINED by sticking little, balled-up pieces of toilet paper all over it.

But Michelle is a fellow lib elite and so everything she wears is stunningly appropriate and fashion-forward. The fawning will not stop. So there.

Famous Original Mike said...

Talk about the right to bare arms! 'Chelle's got 'em!

Robin Givhan is a disgusting slag and talentless parasite.

Michael said...

Newsweek as a fashion magazine. I like it !

Trooper York said...

You know every post you do about Robin Givhan illustrates that she does not know jack shit about fashion.

Now she has moved on to the home planet of people who don't know jack shit about anything.

It's like Super Asshole returning to Kryton or Uranus or something.

johnvert said...

Never heard of this dame. My life will go on just fine without her.

Anthony said...

I really can't understand this fascination with Givhan. Near the pinnacle of trite and useless triviality.

Oligonicella said...

Love Necco. Their site is wonderful eye candy as well. They can be easily ordered online. You might try Amazon, as I hear the hostess is strapped for cash.

Oligonicella said...

Sorry, that was an informative for Ralph L.

GMay said...

An irrelevant critic and an irrelevant magazine. Birds of a feather an all that.

PaulV said...

No animals died in the making of Cheney coat or hat. Those boots were likely warm. Does the woman not know that someone with heart condition should stay warm?

paul a'barge said...

Givhan is black. Michelle Obama is black. No way Givhan is going to give Michelle the same treatment she gives white women.

paul a'barge said...

Givhan is black. So is Michelle Obama. No way Givhan is going to give Michelle the same treatment as she would a white woman.

hombre said...

I want to see Givhan do her thing. And stop fawning over Michelle Obama!

I agree that her writing is entertaining, but why would anyone think doing "her thing" would end her fawning over Obama.