‘Oh no’: WaPo columnist Richard Cohen combines twerking and Steubenville rape

Oh, yes. We’ve officially jumped the shark. Or jumped the twerk. Liberal Washington Post curmudgeon Richard Cohen returned from the Labor Day holiday with a doozy of a column on Miley Cyrus. For some reason, he got it into his head that combining commentary on twerking and the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case would be a good idea.

Here’s how the column opened.

Miley Cyrus twerked. I had to look up the word since my indefatigable spell checker had no idea what I meant. I discovered from Wikipedia that twerking “involves a person, usually a woman, shaking her hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer to shake, ‘wobble’ and ‘jiggle.’ ” That’s precisely what Cyrus did at the recent MTV Video Music Awards, for which she has been amply and justifiably criticized. She’s a cheap act, no doubt about it, but for me her performance was an opportunity to discuss one of the summer’s most arresting pieces of journalism — a long New Yorker account of what became known as the Steubenville Rape. Cyrus should read it.

The New Yorker account by Ariel Levy is indeed worth reading. But Cohen’s cheap grafting of the foam-finger VMA stunt onto Levy’s investigative work failed big time — and ended up dehumanizing all the women involved. This was blatant traffic bait disguised as pundit profundity.

Cohen did succeed, however, in uniting feminists, conservatives, and other journalists in a collective cringe.

  • BlahBlah

    Miley Cyrus still doesn’t realize that all those hundreds of thousands of tweets were not praising her performance. Richard Cohen still doesn’t realize he’s an idiot.

  • Gary

    And Cyrus’ record sales are exploding thanks to all the hand-wringing.

    • Ty in TX

      Mission Accomplished then.

      I mean come on, that’s why she did it.

  • Gary

    And Cyrus’ record sales are exploding thanks to all the hand-wringing.

  • therealguyfaux

    In the sense of the objectification of women, OK, there might be a really tenuous link.
    It would require deft handling, of course.
    One wonders how a man with the name “Cohen” would be as ham-handed as that.

  • radicallyalyssa

    I think he has a point.