We dare you to watch the treacly, fellatio-esque treatment of John Boehner on 60 Minutes last night without yelling at your computer. Or you could just watch our compilation of Lesley Stahl's most adoring moments.
Yes, it is a known interview tactic, particularly on television, to elaborately enact sympathy and even adoration for your subject. But last night's segment on the Speaker didn't just involve Stahl cooing over Boehner; it propagated the phony thesis that John Boehner Is A Regular Dude. Authentic. Came from nothing. The embodiment of the American dream, certainly more American than that guy in the White House who once joked that Boehner, too, was a person of color. Obama can't emote, but Boehner is a real man who cries. It's a complexity of Maureen Dowd-like proportions.
Indeed, much is made of Boehner's tears, but both in the televised segment and the online-only interview with Stahl, entitled "Real Men Do Cry," there is only the most cursory reference to the fact that Boehner's tears may play differently from Hillary Clinton's because of that pesky male privilege of his, or his sensitive-guy options different from Obama's because no one will ever accuse Boehner of accidentally creating policies that benefit women. You can cry as long as the rest of the time you're yelling "Hell no" (also shown), and you can come from nothing and be the real American dream as long as you're a white guy, and it'll only be mentioned once that you became a millionaire in the 1970s. You're just "a regular guy with a big job"!
According to Politico's Mike Allen, "BoehnerWorld was very happy with her package." Watch and see why.
And the interview with Stahl: