The Corner

How Strange the Change from Major to Minor

In his defense of Paula Deen, Charlie writes:

But these are allegations and nothing more — accusations from a woman who not only cannot seem to keep her testimony straight but who started out by sending an “inflammatory letter seeking over a million dollars” and promising “Deen ‘a chance to salvage a brand that can continue to have value.’”

That’s what I find, even after all these years in America, so stunning. The brand is vaporized, however the eventual court case turns out. Whatever its undoubted value to the Food Network, they decided, in nothing flat, that Paula Deen is over.

I confess I’d never heard of her until, while I was guest-hosting on Fox a year or two back, someone brought up her name and I bluffed my way through. On a cursory glance, her recipes sound absolutely ghastly. But I’m an effete foreign ninny, so what do I know? She was a mass-market Obama-campaigning celebrity bazillionaire, and it all went south in 48 hours because she’s said to have uttered a certain word in private conversation decades ago.

Did you say a racist word in the Sixties? A homophobic one in the Seventies? A transphobic one in the Oughts? It’s out there somewhere, lurking, like the shark in Jaws, ready to bite your leg off when you least expect it. Is there a new healthy Paula Deen recipe for this boundlessly touchy world?

1) Take six eggs;

2) Now try walking on the shells…

Some people will be able to do it, at least for a while, but I’m not sure it’s a skill any healthy society would wish to acquire.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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