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Mad Men Actress Provides White House with Expert Testimony on Life in a Decade in Which She Did Not Live

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You know who Christina Hendricks is?  She's an actress.  She plays Joan somebody on Mad Men.  She is the buxom, full-figured redhead. She started out as the office manager, slash, secretary, and by sleeping with a client maneuvered her way into a partnership arrangement at the advertising agency depicted in the program.  Well, she's a fine actress, and I'm sure she's a nice woman.  I have not met her.  I don't expect to meet her.  I would recognize her, I assure you, but I haven't met her. 

There was today a White House Summit on Working Families.  Another summit.  I didn't even know about this one.  This summit occurred under the cover -- uh, radar.  And Christina Hendricks showed up as an expert witness on working families at the White House Summit on Working Families.  And what is she an expert on?  Life for women in the 1960s.  Now, I should point out that Christina Hendricks was not alive in the 1960s.  Well, I take that back.  No, she couldn't have been.  If she was, she doesn't remember it, she'd have been very young.  Christina Hendricks, an actress who was not alive during the period of time depicted on the TV show Mad Men, was at the White House speaking about challenges women faced in the Mad Men era. 

Now, admittedly her remarks, it says here, were brief.  She said that "today’s policies related to women need to be updated to no longer be from the 'Mad Men era.'"  She said, "When President Obama discusses the issues facing working families, equal pay for women, affordable child care, to name a few, he often says that current policies seem to be from the Mad Men era. ... Well, it’s time for that story to go the way of the rotary phone and the typewriter."

A Hollywood actress speaking on political policy about something she knows nothing about and did not live: the oppression of women in the Mad Men era.  She is assumed to be an expert because she's pretending to be a woman oppressed in the Mad Men era and she could have an argument.  If she wanted to try to say what her character's role has been, if it relates, then she had to sleep with a fat slob client in order to get her partnership. 

But it's just classic.  Alan Cranston routinely had the most beautiful actresses he could find to come up and testify before the Senate.  He had Morgan Fairchild and Jessica Lange testifying one day on the problems of farm women.  They didn't know anything about farm women. They had never lived on a farm, didn't know anything about it except they had portrayed farm women in a movie. 

Christina Hendricks has six personal assistants.  She was born in 1975, so five years away from the decade in which she was testifying about as an expert.  I know what you're saying, "Come on, Rush, come on, come on, you know what was going on. She's just brought up there to call attention to it.  She's Christina Hendricks."  That's true.  But she also spoke as an expert, and she isn't.  She plays a character.  "But, Rush, do you know how much they research those roles?"  I don't care how much they research those roles.  They research the roles based on the script written for them, and who knows how close and true to life the script is. 

It's a TV show; it's fiction.  And yet there she is.  She has six personal assistants.  No Mad Men era woman had six personal assistants, but she's up there as an expert.  
And, look, don't anybody give me grief here.  I know, you're Christina Hendricks, you're minding your own business and the White House calls and they ask you to come up.  I understand the ego appeal.  And I happen to know that actors and actresses -- I've seen enough interviews.  In fact, this is kind of fascinating culturally.  I can't tell you the number of actors who don't have the slightest idea about real life even with the roles they play. In interviews to promote the movie they start talking, "Oh, yeah, man, these pole dancers really had it tough," or, "Yeah, you know, hit men, I've played a number of hit men, you know the lives they really led?  You would not believe."

They don't know squat about it.  They play it in fictional movies and they become experts in it, and it, of course, has influence with that audience, the low-information pop culture audience.  And, besides, I have to tell you something, in addition to all that. I was alive during the Mad Men era, and I happened to be the prime age to have come of age during the beginnings and real focus of the militant, modern feminist movement.  There is nobody alive who understands that better than I do.  I lived it.  I can't tell you how many details.  It was horrible.  It still is. 

My point is, there are no Mad Men women situations in the office today.  There are too many women bosses, too many women running the show, too many women CEOs.  There are not nearly as many men going to college these days.  The culture is changing rapidly.  If you want to talk about television and how it chronicles cultural change, one of my favorite shows is Suits.  It's on the USA Network.  I think it's on Wednesday nights.  I don't know if you're familiar with the program.  If you're not, I'll do my best to make my point here. 

The show is now into its fourth or fifth season, and in just that short amount of time -- we were watching this show on Apple TV, Kathryn and I were, and I paused it a couple times to make some cultural observations, and she gave me the sly glance that, "I don't care to analyze the show.  I just want to watch it."  Okay, okay, okay, hit the "play" button and keep going.  In the last episode of Suits, there are two prominent male characters who are spineless wusses, obsessed with feelings and touchy feely.  And it is secretaries, women who have to come in and tell them to buck up, get a spine, get some gonads, and stop running around here with your tail tucked in between your legs. 

In other words, it is the women who are the bosses, the women who are the strong characters and figures. The women are the ones that have no emotion. The women are the ones who are cutthroat, and these two guys are veritable wimps.  Crying and doing all kinds of things. And I'm telling you, I haven't looked at it, but I bet if I looked at the writing staff I wouldn't be surprised at the gender makeup.  My point is, we don't have a Mad Men world today.  Nowhere close to it. 

And yet we've got a summit going on at the White House, participated in by a Mad Men actress, saying it's time to get rid of these old ways of treating women and get rid of 'em like we got rid of the rotary phone.  We have! So what's going on is the same old playbook from the Democrat Party.  You set up a set of circumstances that are not true, that are based on old stereotypes, and make it look like you are doing everything you can to overcome them and portray and perpetuate this silly Republican War on Women. 

That's what this Women in the Workplace Summit is about.  Everything at the White House -- everything -- is political.  It all is tied to the agendas.  They bring in Christina Hendricks and probably a bunch of other actresses.  But certainly her.  And the whole point of it is to create a lie, a false impression that women are still mistreated and stomped on, disrespected, and we've gotta change this.

It's a way of continuing this silly, nonexistent War on Women meme for the Low-Information Crowd.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Back to the phones we go.  This is Jesse in Folsom, California.  Hi.  Great to have you on the program, Jesse.

CALLER:  Thank you very much.  I have been listening to your show since I was about 10, 11 years old.  I really get a lot of insight from it.

RUSH:  I appreciate that.  Thank you very much very much.

CALLER:  Yeah.  I was calling to talk a little bit about the White House Summit for the Oppression of Women.  I think there's a couple interesting points. One of them would be that even though I understand what you're saying and there's definitely a lot of validity to what you're saying, I think that as an actress she has some validity to speak to the issue of women in the sixties.

Because actors and actresses these days do significant amount of research into their roles, and that's what really makes a good actor and actress. But I think one of the most significant points is probably looking at the fact that they're bringing Leo DiCaprio in to talk about the oceans and they're bringing all these celebrities in.

I think that there's an interesting commentary on the state of pop culture in our country and the fact that they're really capitalizing on these celebrities to influence the American people. I think there's a lot of influence that comes from these celebrities, because our culture has been so dumbed down.

RUSH:  Exactly! I was just gonna say, "It represents the dumbing down of the culture."

CALLER:  Yeah.  Anything that a celebrity says, for some reason, is valid because they're famous.  I think it's interesting that the White House seems to understand the fact that if they can get these people to endorse the things that they're saying, that, you know, that'll definitely get them more validity in the eyes of the typical low-information voter.

RUSH:  Well, here's the thing.  At this Working Families Summit, Obama wants one message.  There's no diversity.  He's gonna bring somebody in who he knows will say what he wants to say or what he wants said.  The message at the end of the day here, is to bring actress from Mad Men to talk about how bad it was for women in the sixties. Why not go get one who really lived through that period and can testify to it?  But, no. Get an actress who will say what you want. The idea at the end of this is to continue the political issue of the Republican War on Women.  That's all this is about.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Helen in Alexandria, Virginia.  You're next to the Rush Limbaugh program.  Hello.

CALLER:  Good afternoon, Rush.  I'm going back to Mad Men, if you don't mind.  I worked in ad agencies in the 1960s in New York.

RUSH:  A-ha!  So we have an actual sixties woman here.  Thank you for calling.

CALLER:  Absolutely.  Yes.  I know how many to behave like a 1960s woman, not like the girls on that show. I wish they had called me to use me as a consultant, especially for the hair and clothing.  But, anyway, nobody did.  I was the first person in my office to wear a pantsuit, so we're going way back.  The designer suit, of course, the three heads of the agency had a 30-second meeting and decided that suits were okay as long as it was a suit, but no pants or the trousers without a matching top. 

RUSH:  That was the men who decided that, right?

CALLER:  Oh, yeah.

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  Yeah.  The owners were men.

RUSH: (sigh) Good old days.

originalCALLER: Yeah.  There was one very famous -- she married into Braniff Airlines. Mary somebody.  Anyway, so there was only one woman during those times who was head of an ad agency.  Anyway, I was replaced by a more experienced TV production man, but that was fine with me because I was experienced beforehand in print production so I did print production instead of TV production.  Worked out fine.  There was harmless, polite flirting, and it was not the way they show it.

RUSH:  Can't do that now.  You cannot get anywhere near that now. You can't get anywhere near harmless flirting now unless you get a release signed in advance --

CALLER:  Yeah.

RUSH:  -- from the woman who might be offended.

CALLER:  Exactly.  There were no such women like that around in those days.

RUSH:  No, you could openly flirt and you could dish it back.

CALLER:  Mmm-hmm!  Exactly, yeah! And you just learned how to handle it all.  And that's how life is. Yup.

RUSH:  Well, what do you think of the way the secretaries and the assistants are shown? The portrayal of all women, what do you think of it on Mad Men? Do you watch it?

CALLER:  On Mad Men? I had to stop watching it because it was so incorrect, in the depiction of the behavior and the clothing and the hair, yeah. (laughs)

RUSH:  The hair?

CALLER:  Yeah.  The hair wasn't right, either, in the show.  In the Mad Men show.  Yep.  Yeah.  Lots of things were wrong.

RUSH:  Like how? Whose hair was wrong in Mad Men? What hair was wrong?

CALLER:  The way they're doing it on the show now.  I haven't watched the show in a long time, so they may have wised up to it, but the hair was quite different.  You know, people didn't go to beauty parlors all the time. They did their own hair, and it just wasn't like that.

RUSH:  Oh, I see, it didn't look as coiffed?  Well, it's a TV show.  They have to make some allowances.  See, this is my point.  By the way, the guy that called from Folsom, California, Jesse, he's got a good point.  Some actors and actresses actually do research roles.  But, in the end, all they're doing is reciting words written for them by the writer, approved by the director and the producer.  They're acting on sets created by the producer and the set designer.  It's all make believe. 

Now, in some cases, a show like Mad Men, they've tried to be as period correct as they can with furnishings and this kind of thing.  But when you bring in an actress, just like bringing bring in Jessica Lange and Jane Fonda to testify about the trials and tribulations of farm wives because they played them in movies, sorry, doesn't get there for me.  When you have the real life example easily attainable, you go get the actress who doesn't know, she doesn't know.  All she knows is what she's being told.  Who knows where she's researching it and who knows what she's being told about various aspects of it and by whom. 

So the point is you bring in an actress because that will cause all kinds of people to pay attention to the summit who otherwise wouldn't.  And then if the actress is going to say the right things that advance the president's political agenda, which of course is gonna happen, and what is the agenda?  What's the whole point of this thing?  The working women's summit is what?  It is a summit on the oppression, the mistreatment, the subjugating, the subordination of women, as though it is still prominent, still happening in a vast majority of places, and it's just hell out there for women, and this is because of the Republicans.  That's the subtle reason for it, and we've got to overcome the old-fashioned fuddy-duddy Republicans who want to keep women barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 

So, yeah, I know some actors do research things.  But even at that, it doesn't make them experts, particularly when you could go find people who were actually doing that job, still alive, every day, in this country, who could tell you what it was like.  But if they weren't going to say what you wanted 'em to say, then you better go get somebody who is good at reading their lines.

END TRANSCRIPT

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