Frances McDormand is my hero

Jay Severin thought it would be fun to invite Marisa Tomei, Tatyana Ali, and Frances McDormand — all of them "Hollywood hags," in his opinion — onto his show and ambush them with hostile questions about Barack Obama. Tomei and Ali were no-shows, but McDormand called in as scheduled and beat the crap out of Severin on the air.

Severin’s plan was to queue up a bunch of sound bites from Michelle and Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright, and Bill Ayers and have McDormand respond to them. Severin’s argument was "if these are the beliefs of people Obama associates with, then how can we trust him with our country?" McDormand was completely unruffled and landed one body blow after another. She pointed out that:

  • If one is going to judge a presidential candidate based on associations, it probably makes more sense to consider the candidate’s choice of running mate than anything else.
  • The person on the ballot is Barack Obama, not Wright, Ayers, or anyone else.
  • Five-second sound bites are probably not the best things on which one should base a meaningful conversation.
  • Anyone, including McDormand’s father (a minister), can be made to sound radical with sound bites taken out of context.
  • If we are interested in exercises in defamation of character, all we need to do is check out Jay Severin on Wikipedia.

McDormand had clearly done her homework and was ready to rumble. Severin was flustered, interrupted his guest repeatedly, and wound up the show by disconnecting the call and proclaiming victory. It was a joy to listen to. Thank you, Frances McDormand. (P.S. Loved you in Fargo.)

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