The Politico Thinks Stalking Is Funny

[Trigger warning.]

In a truly abysmal article titled—I shit you not—"The Hunks of Washington," Politico writers Daniel Libit & Erika Lovley introduce their list of the Beltway's hunkiest hotties with this opening salvo:
Washington is a magical place, a place where the onetime victims of boyhood gym-locker entombment can grow up to become the objects of affection, admiration, compulsive fandom, BlogSpot pages and Cafe Press T-shirts.

It is, safe to say, the only place where Ari Fleischer could have a stalker.
Ho ho ho. You see, because being stalked is a compliment. Only the truly sexy among us are afforded the enviable bit of flattery that is becoming the pointed focus of an obsessive and entitled fixation, the increasingly sinister expressions of which intensify as the ostensible admirer tightens orbits in ever smaller concentric circles, slowly squeezing every last remnant of safety, security, and anything resembling normalcy out of one's life.

What an awesome compliment!

What makes their joke even more hilarious is that it's not just a figure of speech: Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was actually stalked while working for the Bush 43 administration:
Mei-Ling Lin, 31, of Cambridge, Mass., was arrested this week after refusing to leave the doorstep of Fleischer's home. Lin had been stalking Fleischer for at least two weeks.

When Fleischer arrived home at 11:30 p.m. on April 9, Lin was waiting at his front door, insisting she knew him. He went inside and she "then began making bizarre sounds," according to the complaint. Fleischer called the cops, who escorted Lin away. She returned just before 3 a.m. and leaned on his doorbell, insisting on seeing him. Again, cops took her away. But she was back again that morning, the complaint says.

For the next two weeks, Lin allegedly "followed and harassed" the White House aide "maliciously and with the intent to cause emotional distress."
Geez, I can't believe Fleischer called the police. I guess he didn't know he's supposed to be flattered by all the attention. Uppity bald four-eyed nerd.

The Politico has stepped significantly beyond the bounds of decency by casually reinforcing the narrative that stalking is a compliment, no less by joking about an actual victim of stalking, calling him ugly and implicitly suggesting he ought to be thrilled at being stalked in the process. I can't imagine by what editorial measure such a stain of journalistic sewage passed muster for publication. Utterly shameful.

[Related: Rape is not a compliment.]

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