Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT
We've written about the Post's fashion writer before and how her attempt to bridge the worlds of fashion and politics by dissecting what politicians wear and supposedly making it all very revealing and important, is, almost without exception, and unbearably painful process to watch.
There's nothing wrong with the territory she's trying to mine. It's just that Givhan's not up to the task and the type of political journalism she's producing is not good.
Recall that it was Givhan who may have hit the absolutely low point of the 2008 campaign journalism when she wrote her for-the-ages column about how Hillary Clinton has breasts. Also, it was Givhan who claimed to be able to divine all sorts of insights into John Edward's character based on what color shirts he wore. And it was Givhan who swung and missed regarding Sarah Palin's wardobe.
Her latest is a think piece on Michelle Obama, because Givhan says "all eyes are on her," although we suspect all eyes are on Michelle's husband, and because "we obsess about her clothes." (We?) Specifically, Givhan dissects what Michelle and the other Obama family members wore on Election Night. Givhan devotes the first six paragraphs of her piece to the fact that some of the Obamas were dressed in mostly black and others had splashes of red; that the family "matched." Givhan thinks this is wildly important and ponders the significance at length:
But that kind of coordination also is a way of controlling the family image, of making sure that these four individuals are perceived as a seamless unit, a supportive clan. The color matching declares loudly: We are a family. We are in this together. And don't we take a nice picture?
We're not sure we can take four years of this.