Fashion Nonsense

If you missed former Pentagon mouthpiece Torie Clarke‘s “Lipstick on a Pig” handbook for the spin set, the current issue of Columbia Journalism Review has an excerpt that’s sure to bump the January release a notch or two on the Amazon.com sales ranking (it’s currently languishing at #111,155).

The excerpted passage has Clarke apophatically boasting about her indifference to Robin Givhan‘s 2003 Post piece on Clarke’s fashion faux pas.

“I called George Rhynedance, my senior military assistant, on the way back,” Clarke writes. “‘What’s up with the Style section?’ I asked. ‘Oh, it’s bad,’ he said. ‘It’ was a huge Style section piece that covered–in great detail–my choice of clothing. It included heavy criticism for what some people saw as inappropriate attire, given the seriousness of my surroundings and responsibilities. The piece was too darn long to read–not that I had the stomach or the time for it anyway. But you couldn’t miss the pictures–seemingly dozens of them–filling the inside page. The jacket that drew the most ridicule was a Louis Feraud that can only be described as asymmetrical patchwork. Some called it the ‘Partridge Family Bus’ jacket; others thought it looked like a Mondrian with buttons. What can I say? It was in my closet, so I wore it.

“I sure didn’t have the time to worry about the article at the time. And I certainly didn’t expect what happened. All at once, our office got a flood of calls and e-mails from people whose emotions ranged from aggravation to outrage that the Post had focused on something as trivial as my clothes at a time of war. They were young and old, male and female. They were average citizens and senior correspondents from across Washington and the country. One of the best reporters in Washington said she was going to call Donny Graham, the publisher of the Post, and ‘tell him just how despicable this is.’ A Post reporter e-mailed me with ‘I thought we had covered every aspect of this war. I was SOOOOOO wrong!'”

Ah, the halcyon days of late March 2003, when a reporter could assume that his paper had SOOOOOO covered “every aspect” of the Iraq war.