Martha Stewart’s recent five count federal indictment, along with the resignations of Timesmen Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd have set off massive waves of schadenfreude all across the land.
Stewart, of course, made her fortune on the image of the perfect homemaker, simply overflowing with energy, ideas, and poise. But, as hard as she worked on the image, it became increasingly difficult for her to hide the reality of Martha offscreen. Martha Stewart: Just Desserts and Martha Inc.: The Incredible Story of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reveal a stingy, domineering, cheating, manipulative shrew, who also curses like an angry sailor, and doesn’t at all mind taking credit for the accomplishments of others.
Perhaps as a consequence of our atheistic culture, we Americans have a tendency toward idolatry. This is bad for most of us, but brings in plenty of fame and dollars for Hollywood stars, politicians, sports “heroes,” and unlikely divas such as Stewart.
While the above cited books detail dozens of juicy and unfavorable incidents in Martha’s rise to the top, one particular occurrence, and the reaction of her public, demonstrate how desperate some people are for role models, in addition to being remarkably naive and gullible.
Several years ago, Stewart was getting into constant battles with her Turkey Hill Road neighbors in Westport, CT. They were fed up with the disruption caused by TV production crews filming various segments at her home. As a peace offering, she arranged a feast, inviting them all into Martha–Land. By all accounts, the party was sumptuous, and the story should have had a happy ending, except that word leaked out that the queen of the domestic arts didn’t do any of the work. She hired caterers! Imagine that. A centimillionaire has a function and doesn’t do her own cooking.
Thousands of her fans felt betrayed. You mean she doesn’t really do those creative TV things at home? But then, myriads of viewers wrote Robert Young (Marcus Welby, MD) requesting medical advice, thought that David Carradine (Kung Fu) knew martial arts, and believed that a Columbia University assistant professor—Charles Van Doren—was perfectly answering all questions posed to him, with just the right amount of sweat, emotion, and élan.
At least Stewart, Raines, and Boyd worked their ways up to their positions of greatest incompetence. What about Hillary Clinton? Yes, we always hear how smart she is. Really though, what, beyond her own bragging, is this based on? Well, she WAS the valedictorian of her graduating class at Wellesley (1969). But, how difficult is it to get “A’s” in sociology, compared to, say, the hard sciences? In truth, it’s not very difficult at all.
After this signal accomplishment, what has she done on her own? How supremely ironic that this Leftist ideal of the modern woman, and icon of feminism owes everything to marrying serial adulterer Bill Clinton.
Shouldn’t we be much more concerned about the quality of actual accomplishment? Given the choice, would you rather have critical surgery performed on you by a doctor who got high grades in Med School, or a physician who has successfully performed the same surgery hundreds of times before?
And while we’re at it, for those intellectual snobs who would mock physical beauty as a mere genetic gift, that the bearer did nothing to earn, wouldn’t being bright merit exactly the same condemnation? Personally, I would greatly prefer staring at a beautiful woman, than listening to the emanations of Hillary Clinton, Susan Estrich, Maureen Dowd, Margaret Carlson, or any other self–proclaimed intellectual giant.
That’s the trouble with idolatry. It poisons the minds of the sheep who idolize their gods, but it has profound effects on the idols, as well.
Raines and Boyd, idols because of their many Pulitzer prizes, became delusional and isolated from their staff, inflicting permanent damage on their once great newspaper. Martha Stewart’s imperious demeanor and egotism will decimate her fortune, and make her the target of shareholder lawsuits for years. Hillary Clinton, whose only qualification is her unbridled covetousness, will seek a presidential run, and be destroyed in the process.
The very first commandment prohibits idolatry, and I believe He was onto something.