The Today show invited noted moralist Dr. Laura Schlessinger on to promote her book Stop Whining and Start Living and to discuss Eliot Spitzer's sex scandal this morning. But they seemed surprised when, predictably, she acted Dr. Laura–ish: “When the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally, to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like her hero, he’s very susceptible to the charm of some other woman making him feel what he needs,” Schlessinger said.
Today hostesses Meredith Viera, Ann Curry, and Hoda Kotb stared at her. There was palpable silence. It was awkward, even for us at home.
Finally, Viera managed to speak: “You’re saying the women should feel guilty that they somehow drove the man to cheat?” she asked.
“The cheating was his decision to repair what’s damaged and to feed himself where he’s starving,” Schlessinger explained. “But, yes, I hold women responsible for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need.”
Right, because Spitzer was clearly a perfectly good man. Jezebel has video if you'd like to give yourself that nice, midday outraged feeling.
Dr. Laura: Women share blame for cheating men [MSNBC]
The Times has had some great moments in cattiness: Caryn James weird takedown of Angelina Jolie ("While visiting orphans in Africa; did she think viewers wouldn’t spot her cat’s-eye makeup and heavily glossed lips?"); Maureen Dowd's Hillzilla column; in fact most of Maureen Dowd's columns about women. But Alessandra Stanley's 2005 categorization of Katie Couric's Today show persona as a "downright scary" is one of the greats. "America's girl next door has morphed into the mercurial diva down the hall," Stanley wrote. "At the first sound of her peremptory voice and clickety stiletto heels, people dart behind doors and douse the lights." But like a woman that loves a man even though he treats her bad, two years on, Stanley is still missing the frisson, the danger, the excitement brought by La Couric. "Changes on Today have smoothed out some of the more interesting quirks," she writes in her column about the pastel dullness of lady-friendly TV shows like Today and The View. "Ms. Vieira, who replaced Katie Couric more than a year ago, is pleasant but bland, and not forceful enough to dim the ascendance of Ms. Curry, who was passed over for the top co-host job but seems determined to play the role anyway." Aha! We think we see the healing beginning. Could Anne Curry be the television dominatrix Alessandra needs to hurt her so good?
Morning TV Veers From News to Frills [NYT]
Previously: 'Today' Seeks Yesterday's Glory [NYT]