Since when did the New York Observer turn into TigerBeat? John Koblin and Zachary Woolfe have a total squeefest over NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, declaring her a “secret gay icon” and using the moment as an opportunity to indulge in some Kanye-esque grammatical hijinks. Dudes, we also love Andrea (she’s cold, sassy, brassy and married to Alan Greenspan), but that’s no excuse to put 23 exclamation points in a row.
Once the duo calmed themselves down, they made some salient points about what makes Mitchell different from your usual gay icon:
There is a large difference between Mitchell and many of the other women we would call “gay icons,” and that’s her power. Real Political Power in the Real World! It’s a clichÃ©, by now, that most gay icons are victims–vulnerable, volatile women. It’s interesting how many of them come from Culture, how few from Media. And then there’s the vultures-circling-the-carcass aspect of gay male idolatry: their icons need to be, in some fundamental way, dramatic losers–even if they don’t literally die (and sometimes they do! R.I.P., Judy), they’re fat, or their nose is too big, or they lose the election. (It was
palpable, in New York in the early months of 2008, that the worse Hillary was doing, the more gay men were getting excited about her candidacy.) Andrea, on the other hand, is a winner, and pretty much always has been: rich, powerful, influential, funny, a little off-color–what is his nickname, if not Mr. Chairman? In fact, never mind! We didn’t ask! She’s scrappy, all the scrappier for still working so hard when she’s so rich. She’s like the random rich teacher in every elementary school, the one who doesn’t have to work but wants to.