Cathy Areu: media entrepreneur, author, speaker, journalist and apparently sponsored by Wal-Mart. Last week on Bill O’Reilly’s “The Factor,” Ms. Areu, publisher of Catalina Magazine, threw one heck of a hissy fit. O’Reilly invited her to defend comments she made about former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin. Areu said, “Sarah Palin can do no wrong for so many people. I mean, she is the female Larry the Cable Guy minus the class and intelligence.” Take a second to let that marinate. With a comment like that, Areu’s class and intelligence should be questioned.
First, MSNBC reported that Areu declined the interview with the no-spin-zone commentator, saying, “Areu said thanks but no thanks to Fox. Saying she wanted to appear right here on MSNBC. We don’t blame her.” Joke’s on you, Peter Alexander, because there she was April 16 with her arms in the air hating on someone who has done some pretty courageous things. But enough free advertising for the elitist media.
I should warn you, the following message is brought to you in part by Wal-Mart. Areu told O’Reilly: “[Palin] made $12 million since July. She’s not watching her pennies anymore. She’s not waiting in the Wal-Mart line like I am. She’s eating caviar and drinking champagne.” Throughout the entire segment Areu referenced Wal-Mart so many times, I swear even they wanted her to shut up. I’m sorry, I didn’t know class and intelligence were essential to shopping at Wal-Mart – tell that to the unruly “welfare check” that runs over my foot every time I step out of the aisle and then doesn’t apologize! Bonus, no one wants to wait in line with Areu anyway. She’s probably the woman with 60 items in the self-check-out lane who forgot her wallet in the car.
Areu’s argument rests on Palin’s paycheck rather than her character. Sounds like Areu is pretty shallow and resentful. She says Palin is not relatable because she makes so much money, and that instead of being the “Sarah Sixpack” she portrays, in reality Palin is a “diva.” It’s Areu who isn’t relatable, because 1) no one knows who she is, and 2) no one knows who she is! She’s crying foul because no one has heard of her and she wants to get a little face time. Well sorry, Areu, the only face time I can offer is this column, and I don’t think you’re going to like it.
I need to shoot the elephant in the room by addressing what some have yet to say out loud. If Palin were a man, no one would care about how much money he made. Look at O’Reilly. He came from humble beginnings and has made a shipload of money, yet claims to be “a simple man.” Why didn’t Areu call him out? The fact that Palin is a double-X chromosome means she’s under a microscope when it comes to being a wealthy powerful woman. On top of that, she’s a Republican, so the spotlight is on her everywhere she goes. Areu is concerned that Palin’s personality doesn’t match her bank account. I’m concerned that Areu’s personality doesn’t match her accomplishments. How has this woman made it so far with the intellect of a liberal lab rat?
I’d like to point out that Areu isn’t exactly struggling to make ends meet. She has to be above the middle-class man considering her professional successes. Does that mean she, too, has changed? Does that mean she, too, is a “diva”? If we followed her logic, we’d see that she, too, drinks champagne and eats caviar. Chew on this: because Palin made $12 million, are we supposed to forget about the life experiences that led her to this success? If anything, we as women should unite and hold her successes in high esteem. It’s not every day a former beauty queen turns governor turns author turns Fox News host. I relate to Palin not because of her financial position or where she shops, but because of her upbringing and moral foundation. Palin was born into a middle-class family, not with a silver spoon in her mouth. She is a self-made woman who now earns a heck of a lot more than she used to. Areu should be giving Palin props, not “call her out” because she’s not standing in line at Wal-Mart. If Areu is judging a politician’s intelligence and class based on whether or not she shops at Wal-Mart, she’s more lost than I thought. Oh no! Let’s make a federal case because a millionaire doesn’t shop at Wal-Mart. Trust me – if I had $12 million, I’d consider kissing that overcrowded, understocked traffic jam of a store goodbye.
I understand Areu feels misled. Here’s a wealthy politician with a fishing pole in one hand and a $5,000 hat in the other. Palin seems to be an average Joe of sorts. I can see how some people might misinterpret Palin’s intentions, but comparing her to a less intelligent version of Larry the Cable Guy is just an attention-seeking comment that discredits anything constructive Areu might have to say in the future. There is one thing Areu doesn’t realize: money doesn’t change everyone. If it did, she might as well be looking in the mirror while giving her spiel about divas. That’s my dose of honesty for a feminist without legitimate cause.