Hey, Media, Bless Your Heart

Thank goodness for the Olympics. I have needed a distraction from the cable news coverage of the presidential election

Which is the most nerve-wracking sports event ever. So please, synchronized diving and beach volleyball, take me away. I’ll watch fencing. Anything to take me away from thinking about the bizarre Trump-Putin connection and how Trump is close to leading among white people. Really, what is wrong with you, white people? Knowing the political leanings, I am currently tanning myself around the clock to differentiate myself from Caucasians, despite the risk of sun damage. It’s funny how I used to find many white men attractive. And then this election happened.

Here is the truth – I am freaked out. This is what makes me nervous: things have been going well for my candidate, Hillary Clinton, since the Democratic National Convention. Too well. It scares the bejesus out of me. She’s risen in the polls. It’s all too good. So I’m ready for the other shoe to drop. And by shoe, I mean another WikiLeaks data dump from Julian Assange, designed to trash Clinton and help Trump. I’m bracing myself. We know it’s coming.

And now that Hillary Clinton has risen in the polls, predictably, the media is back to bashing her. After all, if there is no horse race, ratings and readership will fall. Just this past week, the New York Times published an article on Hillary Clinton’s frequent gesture of placing her hand on her heart. Despite noting that other prominent people in politics do the same, such as Michelle Obama and Canada’s Justin Trudeau, the piece emphasized Clinton’s use of it and how language experts call the gesture “contrived.” Yes, the New York Times is now bringing in body language experts to disparage Hillary Clinton. It’s the type of article you would expect to see in Star Magazine, in which the unspoken communication between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner is analyzed under the headline, “Body Language Pros Weigh in: Ben and Jen Are Still in Love.”

I wonder if the New York Times will turn this notion into a series which highlights all of Hillary’s Clinton’s supposedly artificial hand gestures. The next segment could feature her wave and read: “Is she waving goodbye with sincerity? Experts say that she doesn’t really give a damn that you’re leaving.” Another article will question the outreach of her arms in triumph when she secured the nomination. Perhaps that was some signal to cover up secrets about Benghazi. And of course, there is the most contrived of all contrived hand gestures: the finger quotes. We all do it, but it’s just silly.

With the perpetual negative media coverage that Hillary is getting, I would be clutching my heart, too. If it continues along this line, no interpretation will be required for her next hand gesture. It will be one directed at the press and will involve a single finger.

In truth, we should all thank the New York Times for breaking this gesticulation story and for making us understand that placing a hand on one’s heart is truly contrived. Now all we have to do is stop everyone who covers their heart during the national anthem or while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. “You’re putting your hands on your hearts? That is so fake, you lying class of kindergartners.”

There is one way to look at this type of coverage: bringing in language experts to comment on her hand motions is really scraping the bottom of the barrel with the “she’s untrustworthy” angle. What is next? Will the New York Times call upon a psychic to declare, “I can read Hillary Clinton’s lying mind.” Or, “Palm readers agree: Clinton has an unnaturally long lie line.” And we can’t forget the tea-leaf readers who will look at the remnants of her chamomile to announce, “The leaves say the emails were classified.”

The “Hillary Clinton is a liar” story continues, despite the fact that she’s running against the biggest pathological liar in America. And this myth ignores the fact that the Pulitzer-prize winning site PolitiFact rates her better in truth-telling than any other candidate who has been in this presidential race. The bottom line is, for a lying politician, she’s really not all that bad.

Perhaps her biggest failing is that she is highly guarded. And why would she be? Maybe because she is continually persecuted and investigated more than anyone else in her equivalent position, probably throughout history. Maybe because when she holds a rare news conference, the questions inevitably become: “Why does everyone hate you?” “Why are you so unlikeable?” “Why are you the devil and, if you’re not, how can you prove it?”

In this atmosphere, I would tell Hillary Clinton to say to the press, “Thank you for your valid and insightful questions. You are doing an admirable and responsible job on behalf of the American people.” And while she says this, she should place her hand directly on her heart. Let them surmise whether or not she’s sincere.

For the media’s wonderful way of boosting Trump and chasing ratings, all Americans should simply say to them: bless your heart. And you don’t have to call in a language interpreter to know what that really means.
Hilary Schwartz is a comedian and writer based in NYC with love (and hate) for politics. She is a regular contributor to Political Storm.

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