The Origin Of The ‘Surrender Monkey’

groundskeeper_willie_monkey.jpgWho knew the Supreme Court was a dysfunctional family? We learned that this week from Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick, telling On the Media the Court does itself a disservice by releasing audio only of the most controversial cases, not the boring ones where the justices all sing in nine-party harmony. And Nina Totenberg, NPR’s Supreme Court reporter, should let her hair down more often. Who knew she could do such fun impressions of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg? Nina, how about a Souter?

In OTM’s piece on the new “France 24” channel, Brooke filled us in on the origins of surrender monkey,” which last week fronted the NY Post: The phrase first appeared, she said, in 1995 on The Simpsons (Groundskeeper Willie called the French “cheese-eatin’ surrender monkeys”), it was “reinjected … into the mainstream media” in the late ’90s by National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg” and “gleefully repeated on Fox News and other apparently Francophobic news outlets” during the run-up to the Iraq War. But we know Brooke’s no-cheese-eating, Francophone: She thought “Art de Vivre” is the “art of life” until her guest gently told her it’s “the art of “living,” which is supposedly the raison d’etre of France 24 — to get more of that French cheese in our news.