If it’s at all possible, could Mary Katherine Ham be made the official press secretary for conservative thought in America? Her continued emergence as an opinion contributor on CNN and various other outlets is a welcome site for many of us on the right that grow tired of the caricatures drawn of conservatism in America by left-wing media.
Ham is friendly, funny, articulate, and as smart as they come. And on Tuesday she demonstrated the perfect way to crush blatant left-wing distortions with a smile rather than a snarl.
The scene unfolded when Ham was invited by left-wing CNN host Brooke Baldwin to appear alongside left-wing feminist Liz Plank of Vox to discuss the recent firing of Google engineer James Damore.
Since his termination at the internet giant, the left has worked overtime to frame this as an issue of one man’s bizarre “manifesto” that offended many and deserved censure. And that was precisely the menu Brooke Baldwin had ordered up Tuesday evening as she turned to her fellow liberal Plank and put the ball squarely on the tee:
“Do you think he’s allowed to say that where he’s essentially saying ‘I don’t really like women anywhere near a computer,’ and should even be fired for it?”
And almost as if it had been pre-arranged, Plank was ready to swing for the fences. She expressed shock that Damore would feel comfortable sharing his views with others, questioned whether Google’s culture was one that enables “systemic sexual harassment,” and she dutifully identified him as a “white male” who feels threatened, and who now must face the consequences.
Apparently satisfied with Plank’s efforts to advance the narrative, Baldwin turned back to Ham and asked her how she couldn’t agree with his firing given that this is a man with hiring power who “is basically a guy saying, ‘I don’t like women around computers.’” Baldwin pushed her to acknowledge how such a man could clearly endanger the advancement and empowerment of women in the company.
This is precisely the kind of set-up that conservative commentators face on television all the time. The leftist host sets up a straw man, the leftist guest(s) absolutely bludgeon the straw man, the leftist host then asks the conservative to at least acknowledge some of what the leftist guest had just said was solid.
Ham did exactly what she should have done – exactly what every conservative guest on these programs need to do. Rather than argue in defense of the straw man, she went back and undermined the faulty premise that established him in the first place:
“I just totally disagree with the characterization that that’s what he was saying. And that’s why I disagree with the reaction to this. If it were what you were saying I’d be more on board with Liz’s point of view.”
Perfect response. Show agreeability while at the same time laughing at the premise of what the two liberals have established as the facts of the case. Then expose the truth:
“[I]ronically, and no one seems to recognize the blinding irony of this,” she added. “He was saying one of the problems with Google is that we’re perhaps in this like ideologically insular bubble that is so insular that people like me feel like we’re silenced and don’t want to bring our opinions to the forefront. And then wait a second,” she paused for effect, “in response to that, his dissenting opinion, it was leaked to punish him and then he was fired for it having been leaked!”
The liberal host and guest nodded without knowing much of what to say. Ham was obviously right, and not only was that self-evident to everyone watching, it was also painfully clear that this firing is yet another example of the left’s fascist hatred of thought diversity, and that they are desperate to keep that from being exposed.
If that’s their objective, I’d suggest they not invite Ms. Ham back anytime soon.