Tina Brown: Our Lady of the Air Kiss

I don’t know when I have read a snottier, snobbier, more relentlessly superficial, arrogant and bigoted piece of dreck than Tina Brown’s latest column in the Washington Post, Reverence Gone Up In Smoke.

Sigh…what a disappointment for Tina and her pals – amid all of that glorious color and pomp of a papal funeral and a conclave, the solemn beauty of the chant, the whole mystical and mysterious sense of Other – they’d become attracted, mildly so, but attracted, nevertheless, to the whole “religion thing”. They’d admired the surface of the Lake of Faith, but, sniff, they’re much, much too smart to actually partake of the water without the right sort of lifeguard, darling, you know, one who looks good and tells us we are all holy and lovely and fine and let’s us go on our merry way. A lifeguard who will perhaps even join us at all those luncheons and dinner parties, darling, all those too-too tony gatherings, all the witty repartee, all the sweet and haughty laughter we may indulge in as we ridicule those who do not understand or appreciate our lovely educations, our lovely clothing, our lovely hairstyles, our lovely – so very lovely – things.

There is a lot going on in Brown’s column – an admission that for the folks on the left the papal election meant nothing more than yet another political defeat. Just as they had deluded themselves on election day (a day on which Kerry’s own pollster predicted a loss by 3% points) to believe that a man who had never actually led the presidential race, who had offered neither real ideas or real military documentation, was definitely going to win the White House back for them, they had decided to believe that somehow the “winner” of the papal elections would be

“some youthful cardinal we hadn’t even heard of yet, some charismatic dark horse whom the joyful crowds, so many of them young, would immediately recognize as their own.”

Well…actually…NEWSFLASH, TINA…the man who emerged from the balcony was recognised, quite joyously, by the very youthful crowd in St. Peter’s Square, as “one of their own.” Those young adults, after boisterous cheering, began their first elated chant: Ben-e-dict-o, Ben-e-dict-o.

They get it, the young Catholics. And you and your friends, who seem not to understand what was truly taking place in the Sistine Chapel, or what the papacy means, or what – for that matter – Christianity means, do not. To you, it’s all a great big Church of NO that won’t let you just do what you want and pet you and say, “why, how clever and wonderful you are, dear, here, have a cookie! But not two! Mustn’t get fat now, because otherwise no one will ever love you or think you are a good person…be like the Italians! They are not fat!”

I am a little puzzled as to why, exactly, you and your friends feel this poisonous need to go rather overboard in your bigoted nose-wrinkling. I mean, yes, I DO understand to a point. You and your whole generation have had a difficult time moving from childhood of “gimmee what I want…” to the adulthood of “take what you need…”

How you must have truly hated to hear Cardinal Ratzinger, a day before he became Benedict XVI utter those terribly divisive words:

We should not remain infants in faith, in a state of minority. And what does it mean to be an infant in faith? Saint Paul answers: it means “tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery” (Eph 4, 14)

No. You could not have liked hearing that, beholden as you are to the age in all of its furious fashion and conformity. So, I DO understand, to a point, why you need to do the “sniff and giggle, mock those unsophisticated Christians” thing. It’s hard to break those habits from high school.

But, you know, you do have your own church, so I don’t really know why you have to be so concerned about anyone else’s. You have what Flip Wilson used to call “The Church of What’s Happening NOW.” The Church of Me First. The Church of Cackling Condescension, The Church of Blithe Nobility: I wrote a check, darling, to each of the “right” causes. You don’t expect me to actually go down into that smelly soup kitchen and dish out hash to those people, do you?

Not all of your friends are like that of course. Some of them do fund raising for charities and the arts, and hospitals and museums, which is very nice – although very often the fund-raisers net very little after expenses, still it’s something. And some of your friends do make a point of only flying in private jets which are already heading their way, to – you know – conserve energy. And some of them step into limos only after they’ve pressed a buck into someone’s hand and congratulated them for keeping it real. Sometimes, they even make a “black power” fist after they do it, even if the bum they’ve treated to coffee is not black.

It’s part of the liturgy of your church, I believe. All those gestures. All that pretty ritual.

What I do think is so funny is that you spend so much time huffing and puffing about how the Christians are trying so hard to suppress, and to close down. And you do not see for a second that you, and all of your co-religionists are the leading proponents of silencing others (I don’t remember it being the religious folk who came after Larry Summers or Jada Pinkett Smith because they dared to speak at Harvard Temple in the vernacular of plain speech, rather than in the exalted language of political correctness. I don’t recall the religious folk attempting to get the medical records of actors or artists who dealt with addiction to pain killers, or more.)

Your church shouts down, throws pies, mocks, scorches the earth and openly wishes for the violent deaths of others.

It is not a church that walks into leper colonies, or soup kitchens to try to help (that’s what taxes and government are for!) It is not a church that prays for the good of others, unless they are the “right sort” of others, meaning, church-members, only.

There IS a church out there, that is cause for serious concerns about personal and spiritual liberty. But it is not the Christian one.

I read your column and I remember a prophecy I had read long ago. I don’t remember if it was a Fatima prophecy or Lourdes, or some other. Maybe it’s some silliness that I am confusing with personal revelation; it’s late and I am tired. But I remember what the prophecy said. It said that an event would take place “which will be seen by the entire world,” and that the event would have the effect of making everyone look into their own hearts, examine their consciences, so to speak, and that there would be many who return to the faith, and others who resist or simply choose to turn away.”

Perhaps the funeral of John Paul II (whom you did not love any more than you love Benedict, but who was so beloved by others he could not be forcefully opposed) was that event. Over a million people at prayer, on their knees on cobblestone, in Communion with the Lord Jesus. The attraction – the admittedly superficial attraction – of the beauty and pomp, and the deep mystery at its core. It was an event seen all over the world, as was the naming of the new pope.

People are choosing. Choose wisely, Tina. If you found yourself “attracted” to the Lake of Faith, no matter how superficially, consider dipping in a toe. Don’t be afraid of the water. It doesn’t burn.

Related: The Godless Party by Rod Dreher

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://worthythinking.blogspot.com Truthseeker

    AMEN and AMEN! I like the way you disembowel these liberal whiner’s scribblings! Hope you have unlimited use of the Internet Cafe on board that ship! Again, Bon Voyage!

  • Sharkman

    Tina’s getting to the point where she rivals MoDo just on the sheer WRONGNESS of nearly everything she says. If you took all of the false propositions, strawmen, mistakes of fact, outright lies, and partisan hackery away from either them, the only thing we’d ever read from them would be their by-lines. Good job on the disembowelment. That is, indeed, the correct word to use for what you’ve just done!!!!

  • Bill

    Was it the vision of one of the seers at Garabandal you were remembering? Great post!

  • http://www.nerepublican.blogspot.com Dan M

    The greater their separation from the Holy Spirit, the deeper they wander into error. Ever notice how glib liberals are not just wrong on one issue, but wrong on a wide array of issues.

  • http://www.nerepublican.blogspot.com Dan M


    The world of the cultural elites is so filled with falsehood, with pretension and self-regard that it is innimical to an understanding of the truth.

  • James A.

    This article is so OTT I find it hard to take seriously. I’d normally leave something like this to you catholics to fisk to shreds, but I can’t resist at least a few comments.
    “Secularists, humanists and quiet worshipers of an unpoliticized God have felt beleaguered, frustrated and unfairly disrespected.”
    Yeah, like non-secularists don’t feel exactly the same a lot of the time?
    Continually being described as lunatic fundamentalists, being regarded as The Enemy and having our beliefs twisted and mocked is supposed to leave us completely placid and with a feeling that everyone loves us?
    “There’s no energy on the non-zealot side of the cultural debate… stifling, censorious religiosity… Tom DeLay combination of contempt and pious hypocrisy… more dogma closing the windows of our world…”
    Such respect! (And why is there no energy on the non-zealot side, I ask?)
    I wonder whether “The non-negotiable harshness of [JPII's] stands on women” includes abortion, because she later expresses the wistful desire for “a Bill Clinton or a Jimmy Carter”. Wasn’t it Carter who stopped federal funding for abortions?
    And finally, racism!
    “…the Bavarian background doesn’t help…”
    I live in Bavaria; I know plenty of nice Bavarians and find this objectionable.

  • Cathy

    Out with a bang! AMEN! Have a wonderful vacation!

  • Thom

    I’m stunned at the bigotry and outright hatred in this piece. The Post would never have published something like this on Muslims or Jews — and if it had, the author would have been forced to quit. This is really beyond the pale.

    I’ve just emailed the post’s ombudsman to express my outrage. I suggest others do the same:


  • http://OutlookExpress marlowe anderson

    Leave Tina Brown and her ilk to their secularist dreams. The Papacy of Benedict XVI will succeed greatly, partly because of them, though mostly from his own Holy sense of direction of the faithful under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. She needs our prayers that someday God’s Spirit of Love will break through her stubborn defences and she too learn the joy of the Resurrection.

  • Chuck

    Great idea; an email to the ombudsman is on the way. This is perhaps the most bigoted thing I have ever read in any non-fringe publication. But, looking for the seed of good, perhaps it’s shear venom will work to our favor by illustrating the utter depravity of the secular leftists position.

  • Chris

    By the way… i believe the prophecy you read is in the new testament, book of revelations…

    it speaks of the two prophets who are struck down and then displayed for a number of days before being raised up and called into heaven. the passage describes this event as happening so that the whole world can see.

  • Dan Joshu

    I forget where, but the Bible says their eyes will be closed and they will not know peace. I was like that once and I know the difference. only by God’s grace do any of us come to Him. thanks for taking the time to take up with those who oppose Jesus. only by speaking truth will any listen. God bless.

  • Margaret


    Here is my e-mail to the Post:

    Tina Brown’s column verges on satire — she’s so clearly out of touch with reality that she thought that a John Kerry soulmate would emerge as the new leader of the Catholic Church!

    She is the personification of the new pope’s description of “the tyranny of relativism” that is the new religion of the West. She is exactly the person that the Pope must work to convert and the reason for which he was chosen by the Cardinal-Electors.

    As a Catholic, I must say that if she represents the views of your paper, then she and you are my enemy. Not because I chose to hate you, but because of the clear hatred I perceive for me and mine in what you print. Good thing for you that Catholics don’t issue Fatwas!

  • Scott

    BULLSEYE! What an excellent take on Tina Brown’s (aka Tiny Brain) anti-Christian rant.

  • karen

    Anchoress, I love you best when you’re writing tired!! I guess I’m the only one who can see the humour in this crayon tantrum? Man, how bad can you actually make yourself look and still be considered adult? Do you think she used John Kerry’s box of crayons or does he share them? The best for me was:*it looks as if we are in for more dogma closing the window of our world* can I put a smilely-face here, Anchoress? Maybe she’ll experience an oxygen-deprived epiphany of the need for Truth? She is such a baby.

  • Edward

    What is missed by Tina Brown and the others who have labled the Pope “conservative” (fortunately, they only wrinkle their nose and no longer spit on the ground when they say that) is that this man was the leader in the articulation between the Lutherans and The Catholic Church. They are miles a part in something but he is the one getting people to talk to one another.

    My missing that Tina Brown and the others has totally demonstrated their stupid arogance.

    Ed R-
    KidSafe Playhouses

  • Darrell

    I think this “whole Papal Election mess” warrants an investigation. The exit polls clearly showed the Liberal candidate in the lead. And how can the Cardinals justify “burning the evidence?” Who controlled the “Mother Machine”, as Theresa rightly noted? And who is this “Holy Spirit” guy who is always being mentioned. Any links to Karl Rove? I personally have not talked to anyone who voted for this Ratzinger character. Isn’t this significant? Wasn’t there an “Onion” satire telling certain Cardinals to vote on Thursday? And who blocked the recount? Too many questions to ignore! It the seriousness of the charges that matter, afterall!

  • Pat

    Absolutely MAH-VAH-LOUS, DAHLING!

    This is the best retort to the snivelings of the media elite that I have read, bar none.

    I have linked to your website via Polipundit, and I’ve discovered a treasure. Consider yourself “bookmarked”.

  • Patty in WA

    My husband put it well, re: Tina Brown’s column: “The self-absorption is *majestic*.”

  • Catherine

    What a dithering twit Tina Brown is.
    I’d love to see Ann Coulter take her on someday….what a lovely event that would be.

  • Ellen

    No one does it like the Anchoress. I was hoping someone would give that snobby column the fisking it so richly deserved. Poor Tina, she is like a leaf blown in the wind with nothing to anchor her.

  • Mikey

    Ma’am, the target was destroyed. I am in awe, this is a fisking the likes of which I haven’t read in months.

  • Denise

    “on denying condoms to stop the spread of AIDS”

    Is anyone else getting tired of this particular part of the argument against JPII and BXVI? It’s as if the ONLY way to stop AIDS is the use of condoms. Haven’t they figured out that truly safe sex is monogamous and both partners are HIV-free?


  • tmt

    If Tina Brown had been happy with the choice of this Pope, I’d have been very worried about him.

  • http://lunarskeletons.blogspot.com Oengus Moonbones

    Interesting writing, Anchoress. As I said earlier, the vast MSM smear machine was just getting warmed up. Tina Brown’s piece is just the prelude, the orchestra getting tuned, so to speak.

    I think that mostly what the Church of the Secularist Dreams wants is someone to endorse its “bonobo lifestyle”.

  • me2ewe

    Very funny, Darrell! :)

    I think the “event that will be seen by the entire world” that the Anchoress means is one of the events leading up to the Three Days of Darkness about which many saints have prophesied. Before this 3-day period of chastisement, there are said to be two things coming: a miracle which will be visible to everyone (a red cross in the sky), and an interior warning which will be felt by every person – it will be a revelation to each person of their own sins and of how God truly sees them (something truly fearful even for a Christian, in my opinion).

    As always, readying ourselves to meet God in whatever way He chooses is the main thing….

  • http://polipundit Glenn Beebe

    God Bless you, In a few paragraphs you have revealed not only Tina Brown, but the entire leftist elite, for the foul pool of detrius they are.

  • FunnyGirl

    I was also stunned by the level of hatred and disrespect. Thanks for skewering her for us, Anchoress! Tina, in her so not eloquent but incredibly self absorbed way proves that religion and conservative thought are making incredible headway. Why else would her thong be in such a twist?

  • Mary

    Poor Tina! Her last real job ended in disaster when Conde Nast pulled the plug her short-lived flop of a magazine. Now she’s reduced to a once a week rant at the WaPo. Imagine how frightened this aging trendoid must be. She’s a mediocre writer whos one-note schtick was being ahead of the pop culture curve, and she’s lost it. No wonder she’s so empty and bitter.

  • Bob Diethrich

    Mme. Anchoress you rule:

    You know what I alwasy found funny about the secular humanist left/right coast liberal elites?

    They are the first ones to mock organized religion, Christianity and specifically Catholicism (Buckley correctly observed that anti-Catholicism is the anti semitism of the intellectual elite). They consider those who believe in God to be ridiculous.

    But aren’t these the same people who were screaming at walls and wearing pyrmaids on their heads in the 70s? Listening to Shirley MacClaine (“There are tiny people in my salt shaker”) and channeling in the 80′s? Rubbing crystals in the ’90s? And now aren’t they wearing magic wrist bands with Madonna in the Kaballah?

    Totally ludicrous!

  • http://class-factotum.journalspace.com class-factotum

    Anchoress — brilliant prose and analysis, as always –

    And I agree with the comments that Tina and her ilk are sadly deluded.

    Perhaps — as another commenter suggested — rather than play at their level, we should pray for them.


  • Peggy

    I agree Tina Brown’s article wasn’t Journalism at its best.
    As for this person called The Anchoress, she was handed one of the greatest opportunities to really do some good. With her air of righteousness, I thought for sure she would have shown Tina Brown what humanity was about, or taught her what it is to be dignified or even showed her how to take the moral high ground. She did none of these things. She did however, manage to sink down to the same level of bitterness, vile and contemptability, as Tina Brown.
    Two wrongs have never made a right.

  • TonyG

    well, I read the post twice and I don’t see where the anchoress is taking the low ground. I see her just getting sick of how this bigotry is allowed to get printed and hitting brown with the truth. sometimes the truth hurts.

  • Darrell

    Thanks, me2ewe!

    I now know I’m addicted! Four days without the Anchoress and I am experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms! COME BACK, I BEG YOU!!!! PLEASE!

  • Miguel

    Anchoress: Reading this article I’m truly convinced that you are inspired by the Holy Spirit. What clarity and precision of thought. What a gift to be humble and thankful for :)

  • karen

    Darrell, you and me both :D I expect she’s having a fabulous time in her Motherland. God bless her, but it seems she’s been gone forever. I’ve read most of her stuff twice now and really miss her insight and way of sharing things in print with us. Out of the Pub, already!!! Just joking.

  • Mir

    I take my cue from the Lord Jesus–if they’re rebuking him and reviling him and loathing him, then the servant of God must be doing a lot RIGHT. :) If secularists and apostates were delighted with the choice of Pope, then clearly, he would be a Pope who was screwed up doctrinally. So, hooray for Benedict XVI and may he tick off the immoral and the unbelieving a lot! May he tick them off so much, they are driven to their knees and convert.

    I’m not RC, but I’ve watched the coverage on the new Pope on EWTN and I think he’s terrific. I’ve been praying for him and may God do great things through him for all people of good will.

  • Mena

    Peggy, what are you smoking? The Anchoress was extremely kind in what she said and spoke the truth with fervor and I didn’t detect any hatred at all. This Tina Brown person needs a good dose of Truth. She’s in deep water and drowning in her own selfishness.

  • Darrell

    I hoping against hope that someone shows the Anchoress the way—to the Cyber Cafe, that is…

    And I hope that she doesn’t get depressed when she sees how ubiquitous Socialism has become in the Emerald Isles. You know there is one quick cure for that–write to like-minded people! Hint, hint…

  • Mir

    Maybe the Anchoress can pray for revival when on Irish soil. Wouldn’t that be great, to see Irish folks overflowing churches and protesting immoral legislation?

    Aye, but no Gomorrah.

  • MBH

    FYI, The WA Post published two responses to Ms. Brown’s column (one was mine):


    Hope your trip in Eire was wonderful!