Mollie Hemingway: Washington’s coolest scourge

We’ve linked quite a bit to the work of my friend and friend-of-my-daughters Mollie Hemingway, a confessional Lutheran journalist who is now a senior editor at The Federalist (a lively site of wit and intellectual firepower that you will want to bookmark).  Well, she is having quite a bit of impact in our nation’s capital for her searing take-downs of bad journalism, her funny critiques of feminist orthodoxy, and her insightful defenses of religious liberty.

She is the subject of two recent profiles, linked and excerpted after the jump.  One is part of a “Portrait of a Modern Feminist” series in which Mollie denies that she is a feminist, but impresses the author with her “erudition and wit,” as well as with the fact that her columns have become the talk of the all-important Washington, D.C., dinner party circuit.  The other profile focuses on Mollie as “the scourge of lazy journalists.”

From Charlotte Hays, Independent Women’s Forum:

She’s a lightning rod in the debates about feminism and religious liberty.

She’s been savaged by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank–a badge of honor in conservative circles–and rapidly is becoming a big deal in the conservative-leaning intellectual circles of the nation’s capital.

Indeed, if you’ve been lately to the sort of Washington dinner party where Serious Issues are discussed over the after dinner drinks, chances are something Mollie Hemingway wrote for The Federalist, the hot new website launched in September, came up in conversation.

Perhaps it was Mollie’s “The Seven Most Ridiculous Things about the New ‘Ban Bossy’ Campaign.” “Banning words is un-American,” Hemingway wrote. “Full stop. I shouldn’t have to point this out. You’ve heard the phrase ‘It’s a free country’? Yeah, well that’s ‘murica we’re talking about. Let Putin ban words and thoughts.” Later, on a radio show, Hemingway said she detected a “whiff of fascism” in efforts to reshape our thoughts by banning words.

Another recent Hemingway opus that has won plaudits (or triggered animosity, depending on where you stand) was her critique of mainstream media’s “hostility” to religious liberty issues. It was a breezily erudite piece in which Hemingway explored the roots of press freedom, including in the 1735 trial of Peter Zenger, a colonial printer in New York. Oh, yes, and she proclaimed the nation’s journos to be “dumb, uneducated and eager to deceive.” It was a riff on a famous 1993 Washington Post characterization of evangelical Christians as being “largely poor, uneducated and easily led.”

And yet Mollie Hemingway in person seems just too nice to be Washington’s latest oft-quoted controversialist. When, for example, Hemingway announced at a Kirkpatrick Society lunch—a monthly luncheon-salon for women founded by author Mary Eberstadt—that the theologian Jean Bethke Elshtain had died, Mollie self-deprecatingly admitted to a special affinity for the famous author: Elshtain, she recalled, was a diminutive Lutheran woman from the West—as is Hemingway. (Hemingway is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and a mother who taught in the public school system.)

Hemingway agreed to be IWF’s Modern Feminist with one caveat: Hemingway doesn’t call herself a feminist. “It’s never been a word I felt had much meaning,” she said. “In general, I think there have been problems in that feminism has treated female biology as something that must be overcome rather than a wonderful gift. That’s my main problem with it,” Also, Hemingway has never felt she was inferior to men. “I was raised by parents who taught me that I was valuable and they taught the same thing to my siblings,” she said. “I was raised by parents who were incredibly interested in talking about politics and religion and so we discussed both from an early age,” she added.

[Keep reading. . . .]

She’s a lightning rod in the debates about feminism and religious liberty.

She’s been savaged by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank–a badge of honor in conservative circles–and rapidly is becoming a big deal in the conservative-leaning intellectual circles of the nation’s capital.

Indeed, if you’ve been lately to the sort of Washington dinner party where Serious Issues are discussed over the after dinner drinks, chances are something Mollie Hemingway wrote for The Federalist, the hot new website launched in September, came up in conversation.

Perhaps it was Mollie’s “The Seven Most Ridiculous Things about the New ‘Ban Bossy’ Campaign.” “Banning words is un-American,” Hemingway wrote. “Full stop. I shouldn’t have to point this out. You’ve heard the phrase ‘It’s a free country’? Yeah, well that’s ‘murica we’re talking about. Let Putin ban words and thoughts.” Later, on a radio show, Hemingway said she detected a “whiff of fascism” in efforts to reshape our thoughts by banning words.

Another recent Hemingway opus that has won plaudits (or triggered animosity, depending on where you stand) was her critique of mainstream media’s “hostility” to religious liberty issues. It was a breezily erudite piece in which Hemingway explored the roots of press freedom, including in the 1735 trial of Peter Zenger, a colonial printer in New York. Oh, yes, and she proclaimed the nation’s journos to be “dumb, uneducated and eager to deceive.” It was a riff on a famous 1993 Washington Post characterization of evangelical Christians as being “largely poor, uneducated and easily led.”

And yet Mollie Hemingway in person seems just too nice to be Washington’s latest oft-quoted controversialist. When, for example, Hemingway announced at a Kirkpatrick Society lunch—a monthly luncheon-salon for women founded by author Mary Eberstadt—that the theologian Jean Bethke Elshtain had died, Mollie self-deprecatingly admitted to a special affinity for the famous author: Elshtain, she recalled, was a diminutive Lutheran woman from the West—as is Hemingway. (Hemingway is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and a mother who taught in the public school system.)

Hemingway agreed to be IWF’s Modern Feminist with one caveat: Hemingway doesn’t call herself a feminist. “It’s never been a word I felt had much meaning,” she said. “In general, I think there have been problems in that feminism has treated female biology as something that must be overcome rather than a wonderful gift. That’s my main problem with it,” Also, Hemingway has never felt she was inferior to men. “I was raised by parents who taught me that I was valuable and they taught the same thing to my siblings,” she said. “I was raised by parents who were incredibly interested in talking about politics and religion and so we discussed both from an early age,” she added.

- See more at: http://www.iwf.org/modern-feminist/2793716/Portrait-of-a-Modern-Feminist:-Mollie-Hemingway#sthash.hzJul4WC.dpuf

She’s a lightning rod in the debates about feminism and religious liberty.

She’s been savaged by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank–a badge of honor in conservative circles–and rapidly is becoming a big deal in the conservative-leaning intellectual circles of the nation’s capital.

Indeed, if you’ve been lately to the sort of Washington dinner party where Serious Issues are discussed over the after dinner drinks, chances are something Mollie Hemingway wrote for The Federalist, the hot new website launched in September, came up in conversation.

Perhaps it was Mollie’s “The Seven Most Ridiculous Things about the New ‘Ban Bossy’ Campaign.” “Banning words is un-American,” Hemingway wrote. “Full stop. I shouldn’t have to point this out. You’ve heard the phrase ‘It’s a free country’? Yeah, well that’s ‘murica we’re talking about. Let Putin ban words and thoughts.” Later, on a radio show, Hemingway said she detected a “whiff of fascism” in efforts to reshape our thoughts by banning words.

Another recent Hemingway opus that has won plaudits (or triggered animosity, depending on where you stand) was her critique of mainstream media’s “hostility” to religious liberty issues. It was a breezily erudite piece in which Hemingway explored the roots of press freedom, including in the 1735 trial of Peter Zenger, a colonial printer in New York. Oh, yes, and she proclaimed the nation’s journos to be “dumb, uneducated and eager to deceive.” It was a riff on a famous 1993 Washington Post characterization of evangelical Christians as being “largely poor, uneducated and easily led.”

And yet Mollie Hemingway in person seems just too nice to be Washington’s latest oft-quoted controversialist. When, for example, Hemingway announced at a Kirkpatrick Society lunch—a monthly luncheon-salon for women founded by author Mary Eberstadt—that the theologian Jean Bethke Elshtain had died, Mollie self-deprecatingly admitted to a special affinity for the famous author: Elshtain, she recalled, was a diminutive Lutheran woman from the West—as is Hemingway. (Hemingway is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and a mother who taught in the public school system.)

Hemingway agreed to be IWF’s Modern Feminist with one caveat: Hemingway doesn’t call herself a feminist. “It’s never been a word I felt had much meaning,” she said. “In general, I think there have been problems in that feminism has treated female biology as something that must be overcome rather than a wonderful gift. That’s my main problem with it,” Also, Hemingway has never felt she was inferior to men. “I was raised by parents who taught me that I was valuable and they taught the same thing to my siblings,” she said. “I was raised by parents who were incredibly interested in talking about politics and religion and so we discussed both from an early age,” she added.

- See more at: http://www.iwf.org/modern-feminist/2793716/Portrait-of-a-Modern-Feminist:-Mollie-Hemingway#sthash.hzJul4WC.dpuf

She’s a lightning rod in the debates about feminism and religious liberty.

She’s been savaged by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank–a badge of honor in conservative circles–and rapidly is becoming a big deal in the conservative-leaning intellectual circles of the nation’s capital.

Indeed, if you’ve been lately to the sort of Washington dinner party where Serious Issues are discussed over the after dinner drinks, chances are something Mollie Hemingway wrote for The Federalist, the hot new website launched in September, came up in conversation.

Perhaps it was Mollie’s “The Seven Most Ridiculous Things about the New ‘Ban Bossy’ Campaign.” “Banning words is un-American,” Hemingway wrote. “Full stop. I shouldn’t have to point this out. You’ve heard the phrase ‘It’s a free country’? Yeah, well that’s ‘murica we’re talking about. Let Putin ban words and thoughts.” Later, on a radio show, Hemingway said she detected a “whiff of fascism” in efforts to reshape our thoughts by banning words.

Another recent Hemingway opus that has won plaudits (or triggered animosity, depending on where you stand) was her critique of mainstream media’s “hostility” to religious liberty issues. It was a breezily erudite piece in which Hemingway explored the roots of press freedom, including in the 1735 trial of Peter Zenger, a colonial printer in New York. Oh, yes, and she proclaimed the nation’s journos to be “dumb, uneducated and eager to deceive.” It was a riff on a famous 1993 Washington Post characterization of evangelical Christians as being “largely poor, uneducated and easily led.”

And yet Mollie Hemingway in person seems just too nice to be Washington’s latest oft-quoted controversialist. When, for example, Hemingway announced at a Kirkpatrick Society lunch—a monthly luncheon-salon for women founded by author Mary Eberstadt—that the theologian Jean Bethke Elshtain had died, Mollie self-deprecatingly admitted to a special affinity for the famous author: Elshtain, she recalled, was a diminutive Lutheran woman from the West—as is Hemingway. (Hemingway is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and a mother who taught in the public school system.)

Hemingway agreed to be IWF’s Modern Feminist with one caveat: Hemingway doesn’t call herself a feminist. “It’s never been a word I felt had much meaning,” she said. “In general, I think there have been problems in that feminism has treated female biology as something that must be overcome rather than a wonderful gift. That’s my main problem with it,” Also, Hemingway has never felt she was inferior to men. “I was raised by parents who taught me that I was valuable and they taught the same thing to my siblings,” she said. “I was raised by parents who were incredibly interested in talking about politics and religion and so we discussed both from an early age,” she added.

- See more at: http://www.iwf.org/modern-feminist/2793716/Portrait-of-a-Modern-Feminist:-Mollie-Hemingway#sthash.hzJul4WC.dpuf

She’s a lightning rod in the debates about feminism and religious liberty.

She’s been savaged by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank–a badge of honor in conservative circles–and rapidly is becoming a big deal in the conservative-leaning intellectual circles of the nation’s capital.

Indeed, if you’ve been lately to the sort of Washington dinner party where Serious Issues are discussed over the after dinner drinks, chances are something Mollie Hemingway wrote for The Federalist, the hot new website launched in September, came up in conversation.

Perhaps it was Mollie’s “The Seven Most Ridiculous Things about the New ‘Ban Bossy’ Campaign.” “Banning words is un-American,” Hemingway wrote. “Full stop. I shouldn’t have to point this out. You’ve heard the phrase ‘It’s a free country’? Yeah, well that’s ‘murica we’re talking about. Let Putin ban words and thoughts.” Later, on a radio show, Hemingway said she detected a “whiff of fascism” in efforts to reshape our thoughts by banning words.

Another recent Hemingway opus that has won plaudits (or triggered animosity, depending on where you stand) was her critique of mainstream media’s “hostility” to religious liberty issues. It was a breezily erudite piece in which Hemingway explored the roots of press freedom, including in the 1735 trial of Peter Zenger, a colonial printer in New York. Oh, yes, and she proclaimed the nation’s journos to be “dumb, uneducated and eager to deceive.” It was a riff on a famous 1993 Washington Post characterization of evangelical Christians as being “largely poor, uneducated and easily led.”

And yet Mollie Hemingway in person seems just too nice to be Washington’s latest oft-quoted controversialist. When, for example, Hemingway announced at a Kirkpatrick Society lunch—a monthly luncheon-salon for women founded by author Mary Eberstadt—that the theologian Jean Bethke Elshtain had died, Mollie self-deprecatingly admitted to a special affinity for the famous author: Elshtain, she recalled, was a diminutive Lutheran woman from the West—as is Hemingway. (Hemingway is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and a mother who taught in the public school system.)

Hemingway agreed to be IWF’s Modern Feminist with one caveat: Hemingway doesn’t call herself a feminist. “It’s never been a word I felt had much meaning,” she said. “In general, I think there have been problems in that feminism has treated female biology as something that must be overcome rather than a wonderful gift. That’s my main problem with it,” Also, Hemingway has never felt she was inferior to men. “I was raised by parents who taught me that I was valuable and they taught the same thing to my siblings,” she said. “I was raised by parents who were incredibly interested in talking about politics and religion and so we discussed both from an early age,” she added.

- See more at: http://www.iwf.org/modern-feminist/2793716/Portrait-of-a-Modern-Feminist:-Mollie-Hemingway#sthash.hzJul4WC.dpuf

From Kevin Steel,Meet Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, scourge of lazy journalists | Rare:

If you’re a media hack, you do not want to get on the bad side of Mollie Ziegler Hemingway.

The senior editor at The Federalist is getting a reputation for the ferocity of her take-downs of journalists who do just that foolish thing. Take poor Dana Milbank, for instance. The Washington Post opinion writer poked at Hemingway along with a couple of other conservative women in a March column: “Conservatives to women: Lean back.”

Milbank mocked Hemingway and her colleagues who had concluded in a panel discussion that marriage is, on balance, good for women. Apparently, this was not a notion that progressives like Milbank are willing to entertain as it smacked of that fabled Republican war on women. Milbank scolded the panel for their retrograde views.

“[T]he consensus was that women ought to go back in history,” he chided.

Hemingway didn’t take kindly to Milbank “mansplaining” the whole business. She replied with a column of her own: “Dana Milbank Is Incoherent On Marriage.” In it, she picked apart Milbank’s assumptions about marriage, and about what women want, piece by painful piece, with solid data and arguments.

Along the way, she slipped in some uncharitable references to the writer. “Now, normally I wouldn’t even bother responding to such idiocy,” she wrote, “as I was under the impression that everyone realized Milbank was a partisan hack.”

It didn’t end there. A couple of months later, in mid-June, she took another crack at him in a column titled, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Dana Milbank.” It opened, “Dana Milbank is a columnist for the Washington Post who serially exaggerates or distorts what he writes about. It’s just what he does.”

Milbank hasn’t been Hemingway’s only target. In her Federalist columns, she’s taken shots at NPR’s Terry Gross, Esquire‘s Charles Pierce and The New York Times‘ Charles Blow, to name a few of the mugshots.

The Federalist has only been on the web since September of last year, but Hemingway has helped it to stand out quickly.

By April, based on her success The Independent Women’s Forum included a profile of her in their Portrait of a Modern Feminist series (which incidentally took pains to explain that Ziegler Hemingway did not consider herself a feminist), praising her erudition and wit.

[Keep reading. . . .]

HT:  Joanna Hensley

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X