Late Friday, the Wall Street Journal columnist Joseph Epstein wrote a cheeky column pointing out the obvious: that if you burst into a room frantically looking for a doctor, one would be very disappointed to have Jill Biden raise her hand in response.
Epstein’s words prompted apoplexy among the Biden family’s political enforcers. He’d been — wait for it — sexist! Former First Lady Michelle Obama weighed in: ‘We’re all seeing what also happens to so many professional women, whether their titles are Dr, Ms, Mrs, or even First Lady: all too often, our accomplishments are met with skepticism, even derision.’
Well, of course those accomplishments are being met with derision. First Lady-elect Jill Biden doesn’t even have a PhD, but instead an EdD, famous across academia for being an easy way for school administrators to inflate their credentials and get a bigger paycheck. While PhDs at least have to slave away for half a decade, balancing coursework and a dissertation with teaching requirements, Lady Biden’s degree was only a three-year part-time commitment. Not only that, but only a 2.75 undergraduate GPA is required to enter the program. Cockburn has met furniture that could manage a 2.75 at American colleges (it helps if the furniture can play basketball).
On Sunday, the Washington Post harped that ‘The Wall Street Journal column about Jill Biden is worse than you thought.’ Why is it so much worse than we thought? Well, because it hurt author Monica Hesse’s feelings really badly, apparently:
‘…we are not here to lament the plight of the female academic; we are here to talk about Joseph Epstein and Jill Biden. “Forget the small thrill of being Dr Jill,” he instructed her in the final sentence of his column, “and settle for the larger thrill of living for the next four years in the best public housing in the world as First Lady Jill Biden.”’
But if the Journal’s article is so appalling, why did the Post itself say the exact same thing less than one presidential term ago? In 2017, the paper’s Callum Borchers chided Fox News and other outlets for honoring Hungarian science experiment Sebastian Gorka with the Dr title:
‘Gorka gets his title on Fox News and in the Daily Caller, Conservative Review and Gateway Pundit. But mainstream news outlets generally refuse to attribute the “Dr” prefix to anyone who is not a medical doctor.’
‘My feeling is if you can’t heal the sick, we don’t call you doctor,’ Bill Walsh, the Washington Post’s late, great copy chief, told the Los Angeles Times in 2009.
Why is Mr (sorry, ‘Dr’) Gorka held to a different standard to Mrs (sorry, ‘Dr’) Biden? Isn’t that prejudice?
In 2014, the New Republic, an ancient liberal institution if there ever was one, heaped ridicule upon the very idea of honoring doctorates:
‘My doctorate just signals that I went through a program of exams and paper-writing, including a thesis-length paper at the end. But so what? Graduate school is not even that hard. I am a good cocktail-party bullshit artist, but I was that before grad school, and some of the best BS’ers I know have only a BA.’
What changed from 2014? You know exactly what. America lost its sense of humor, but gained an arrogant new nobility. It’s high time those nobles were dumped in the mud, titles and all.