Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why Dick Cavett needs a muzzle. Or maybe a gag.

I used to like Dick Cavett. Of all the talk show hosts, he was the one known for his erudition, his intellectual streak. Johnny was the funny one, but Dick was the insightful interviewer, the one who came up with the best questions, whose show made you think.

I haven't been a fan of Dick's in a while, ever since he wrote this truly obnoxious blog post on obesity. Cavett's not the only painfully thin celebrity to weigh in (ha ha) on the subject, and he won't be the last. But his blog post seemed especially egregious to me, maybe because he wasn't responding to a current event, or an interviewer's question. He was just flying his fatphobic flag, loud and proud. By using words "heavily larded," "a herd of heifers," "the size of the Hindenburg," and other choice descriptors, Cavett showed off not only his vocabulary but his jejune perspective. (No, Dick, you're not the only one who knows fancy words.)

I thought I was over Dick Cavett. I really did. It's hard to stay pissed off at a washed-up ex-talk-show-host who's got nothing better to do than vilify people based on their appearance. Then he ticked me off all over again with a quote in this week's New Yorker magazine, in a piece by Ben McGrath on an odd little throwback of a recruitment video recently released by Yale.

McGrath quotes various Yale alums on the pros and cons of the video. Their comments are informative and amusing. That is, until we get to Cavett, who says, "“I wonder if it really was made in America, because there are no fatties.”

Really, Dick? That's your reaction? That the video features "no fatties"? What does that have to do with the subject at hand?

It seems that Cavett just can't put a lid on it; he's got to inject a little fatphobia into every conversation in print. Mercifully, there aren't too many of those, because, after all, he hasn't actually done anything worth mentioning in about 25 years. Maybe he's trying to line himself up a reality show. Maybe he wants to replace Howard Stern. Or maybe he's so obsessed with the subject of fat people that he literally can't help himself.

In which case, Dick, let me give you a few words of advice: Shut up already. You may have a high IQ, but your comments illustrate your ignorance, your prejudice, and your inherent lack of decency and kindness.

Come to think of it, maybe Rush Limbaugh has a co-host spot. Dick Cavett would be perfect for the job.


shyvixen said...

My guess is that Dick is on a "heart healthy" low-fat, low-sodium diet prescribed by his doctor. This would make him cranky in general and extra cranky at fat people, whom he envisions eating all the food that he wants to eat but doesn't.

Or he just a cranky old guy.

But that's just my opinion.

Meowser said...

I bet you're right, shyvixen. Add low carb on top of that, which at his age is also a common prescription, and it's an extra serving of crabby. (I can't believe some of the diets elderly patients get prescribed to follow at home, really, they're just ridiculous. Even celery isn't allowed a lot of the time because it's chewy!)

And didn't Dick Cavett have more than his share of people on his show who chain-smoked their way through an interview, or were high as kites on heroin or cocaine when they performed? I don't recall him ever being snotty to them over it, either.

Harriet said...

Ha! I bet you're both right.

Anonymous said...

Dick Cavett has always been contrary, and has a lot of knee-jerk reactions to things, but I didn't realize he was so openly prejudicial... disappointing. It's not like I expect him to love fat people, but he doesn't have to treat them like they are doing something wrong. What a sad, narrow little man... in more ways than one!