In the world of news, it’s never the man who is the “bimbo.” So argues political strategist and columnist Alexis Grenell in today’s New York Daily News.
On Sunday, incoming mayor Bill de Blasio‘s communications chief Lis Smith was revealed to be dating Eliot Spitzer. The ensuing coverage, suggests Grenell, has been all too familiar:
Regardless of her taste in men, Smith has the right to make her own decisions. Her relationship with Spitzer is entirely irrelevant to her qualifications as de Blasio’s spokeswoman.
Yet in news reports, Smith has been transformed from an accomplished adult into a “leggy” sexpot and her professional future called into question because her choice of romantic partner raises eyebrows.
In reality, Smith is just another casualty of the persistent cultural sexism that slut-shames women for having a sex life and being smart, too.
There is only one problem with Grenell’s take: she entirely skips over the fact that Spitzer is still married. Smith worked on Spitzer’s campaign for Comptroller this summer.
The Daily News also has a countervailing op ed from former Reagan communications rep Betsy Hart. She writes that “if you need to keep your boyfriend a secret, it’s time to find somebody else.”
One other note about the Grenell op ed. We agree with commenter Ken Neal, who asks: ‘Why is there a big photo of Alexis Grenell? The article is about Lis Smith.’ The photo of the writer at the top of the Web page is indeed huge.
Update (December 25):
Spizter’s marriage is officially over. On Christmas Eve, he and Silda released the following statement: “We regret that our marital relationship has come to an end and we have agreed not to make any other public statement on this subject.”
Today, the coverage in the Post also includes an “exclusive” about Spitzer spending the day at new girlfriend Smith’s family’s place.