Hello everyone. I wanted to give you an update from my trip to New York yesterday, and offer some predictions on what will be happening with the interview I did with ABC News 20/20.
First, let me say it was a very tiring day. I am amazed at times by the possibilities of the age I live in. Still, waking up in Houston, flying to New York City, taping an interview and then being back in Houston in time to sleep in my bed is one hell of a whirlwind day.
The interview itself was, how do I put this, every bit as skewed as I expected. I spoke first with ABCs Elizabeth Vargas, a seasoned, tough, no nonsense anchor that managed to conjure up a fair amount of nonsense for the interview nonetheless.
She did pretty much as I expected. She dwelled, obsessively so, on cherry picked bits of my most provocative writing, insisting that it was not satire (by her own edict I suppose), even as I informed her repeatedly that it was satire, and pointed to the fact that I had also said that in the articles. Those few examples were all she wanted to talk about, which I know surprises you to no end.
When we did discuss the issues faced by men and boys, she either dismissed them as trivial or acted like I was crazy for having brought them up in the first place.
She just kept insisting that I was promoting or inciting violence, that I hated women and supported rape.
To be fair to her, there were portions of the interview where she asked some very intelligent questions and allowed me more than sufficient space to answer them. How much of that winds up on the cutting room floor is anyone’s guess.
I will also say that she did not appear to take any of this personally. Outside what was taped she was affable and professional, as was producer Steven Schnee and the camera crew doing the shoot.
Perhaps most interesting was that after the interview with Vargas, they placed me in a hotel café with feminist activist Jaclyn Friedman, one of the people responsible for the Facebook “anti-misogyny” campaign that quickly devolved into the Facebook anti-free speech campaign targeting people who dissent from feminist dogma.
This woman was a piece of work. After seating us at a table together, with cameras rolling, I was treated to a string of false accusations. Friedman claimed that I was responsible for mass shootings, for women fleeing their homes in fear for their lives under the direction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and of course for rape apologia, violence against women and all other social maladies. I don’t recall whether she blamed me for 9/11, but things got kind of blurry after the first few accusations.
She of course offered no proof of any of this. Go figure.
At one point during the “discussion,” after Friedman had said (for the third or forth time) that she was done talking to me, I wished her luck and suggested that she and those of her ilk would need it in the future.
She said something to the effect, ‘I can’t believe you just made a threat on camera.’
Well, at least we know they sent a real feminist to confront me on my evil ways.
The bottom line is this. I am betting that the interview with Vargas will be reduced to her bravely and admirably standing up to my hateful calls for violence, rape, pillaging, killing kittens and seeking to relegate women to the sammich mines for eternity. The numerous points I made will not fit their time constraints for the piece and will thus be excluded. Either that, or they will kill the segment entirely.
Now again, I am only guessing here, but it is an informed guess based on what is now a good bit of experience talking with people in the media. If I am wrong I will waste no time in issuing a highly visible apology to Vargas and to 20/20.
As I have said before, this is the unfortunate reality of what we have to deal with. Since we live in a culture that finds the pain and struggles of men both inconvenient and repugnant, we are left to draw attention to that pain and those struggles in ways that sometimes offend those who top the list of those who do not want to hear it. As I tried to impart to Vargas several times, without the harsh satire, the acerbic commentary, she and I would not be talking. AVFM would be just another blog addressing problems that the world doesn’t give a damn about.
So, we take those lemons and make lemonade around here. We are prepared to handle the visitors that come from this bit of modern journalism and provide them the opportunity to investigate who we are and why we do what we do. As it already has in the past, it will result in growth and support. It will enable us to continue to carry the message that men are human beings, and that men’s rights are human rights.
I don’t know, but if you ask me that is some pretty good lemonade.
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- ICMI 15: Building Bridges Between Men and Women in the 21st Century - April 2, 2015
- Funding an end to fundraisers - March 30, 2015
- A little blood in the mix never hurt a revolution - March 26, 2015