Many of you thought that ABC News 20/20 had decided to drop the story they had started producing on AVFM. I was right there with you. After the time I expected the show to air had passed by several weeks, I figured they had dumped the idea.
However, show producer Steven Schnee phoned me yesterday saying he wanted to send a camera crew to my home to get some more footage, and that they were aiming to air the episode this Friday.
He said they wanted to get material that would show me in a more “human” light.
In for a dime, in for a dollar, I agreed and their two man crew (very nice fellows) came in this morning and spent two and a half hours filming me doing very important stuff like making coffee and looking contemplatively out the window.
Oh, and typing. Lots of typing.
My take on this? Well, considering that this is clearly going to be a hit piece, I am assuming the storyline will be something like the following.
Here is a seemingly average man in Texas, living in an average home in an average neighborhood, making an average cup of coffee and sitting on his average sofa.
(Cut to shot of me looking contemplatively out the window as the music gets more intense)
Fade to black.
Then, there I am again, typing at the keyboard, smoke lifting up from the keys and horns sprouting out of my head. Screams of women in the background as a demonic fiddle wails away.
OK, may not so melodramatic, but you get this gist.
And to be fair, I have no way of knowing exactly what 20/20 is up to. There are only a handful of certainties that I can refer to in playing what is admittedly a guessing game.
One, Elizabeth Vargas, when she interviewed me in New York, was overtly hostile. She avoided the issues doggedly, quoted me out of context repeatedly and indeed insisted that she was the arbiter of whether my satire was satire, even the satire that I took the unusual step of informing readers was satire when I wrote it.
Schnee also engaged Editor-in-Chief John Hembling in a phone interview. Four of our female writers were brought in to that call, and Schnee refused to even acknowledge their questions about why 20/20 was not interested in the opinions of women who write for the site.
And then there were the follow up questions emailed me today by 20/20 production assistant Alyssa Pry, mostly having to do with site finances and wanting employment particulars on my girlfriend.
I will spare you the almost obligatory pun.
To size it up, 20/20, while they might still surprise, probably won’t surprise. At any rate, we may find out Friday, if they actually air the show.
Why they have delayed so long is also a matter of conjecture. My guess is that they were waiting for the Newsweek piece on the MHRM to come out so the two stories would have media synergy.
As it turns out, and just by circumstance I am sure, the Newsweek story, which I had also assumed at one point to be dead, is going to come out relatively soon I am told. The story on it is less complex.
Soon after the story was written, Newsweek was bought out in a deal that severed it completely from its former online counterpart, The Daily Beast. That left the actual ownership of the piece on the MHRM in question. That apparently is getting resolved, and it will run on one, but not both, of those outlets in the not too distant future. I am betting within scant days of the airing of the 20/20 piece or vice versa.
Purely by coincidence, mind you.
Stay tuned folks. It looks like things are about to get a little more interesting around here. Then again, maybe not. In a way, it is just business as usual. Someone in the media chants:
Racist! Sexist! Anti-gay! MRA go away!
Of course they say this while ignoring all the women and gay men that support and write for this site.
Then they add that we eat kittens, push people in wheelchairs into traffic, beat up old ladies and take their food money and generally promote evil across the planet.
In doing so, they send people to the site, some of whom figure out rather quickly they have been duped, and we get a little bigger. The only difference this time is that the scale is a little larger.
Addendum: Well, it is on. Here is the ABC Promo.
And the first wave of the attack is already in:
- The single most humiliating moment in Jessica Valenti’s public life - August 26, 2015
- I made the top 10 at Houston Press, barely. I have been cheated! - August 19, 2015
- Time for a National Whore’s Day or something - August 14, 2015
- Don’t mistake my nonviolence for pacifism - August 9, 2015
- AVfM Classics: the myth of women’s oppression - August 4, 2015