The Sexist

Sorry, Alan Grayson: “K Street Whore” Isn’t Specific Enough

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Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida, was roundly criticized by fellow policymakers yesterday for directing a derogatory term at a colleague. On a radio program, Grayson called Linda Robinson, an adviser to Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, a "K street whore." Grayson's camp has refused to backpedal from the term, instead releasing a statement urging the media to "be clear about the context." According to a Grayson spokesperson, "The attack was on her professional career, not her personal life."

Calling a person a "whore" in any context is derogatory, so insisting that "whore" be taken "in context" strikes me as a misguided exercise here. But let's humor Grayson's camp for a minute. According to them, the "K street" portion of the comment demonstrates that Grayson was, at least, confining the insult to Robinson's professional reputation as a lobbyist, and not suggesting that Robinson bears any personal resemblance to a prostitute.

CBS News explains the context this way: "K street is where many Washington lobbyists work, and 'K Street whore' is a derogatory—though not uncommon—phrase used to describe them in the nation's capital."

As long as we're being clear on context, we ought to note that it's not just political "whores" populating the K street corridor. That street is also notorious in Washington for hosting prostitutes of the more traditional variety. Anyone who's driven down K Street after sundown—around, oh, 6th Street or 11th Street NW—knows that tacking "K street" onto "whore" doesn't clarify a damn thing. K street is a main conduit for sex work in D.C., and "K street whores" are as likely to be actual prostitutes as they are lobbyists. I wouldn't be surprised if the high concentration of prostitutes and the lobbyist traffic went hand-in-hand.

Personally, I find casting lobbyists as "whores" offensive to sex workers. But if Grayson wants to continue to insist that the term was only meant to degrade the street's for-hire politicos, he'd to best to find a "whore" modifier that doesn't just double as another euphemism for "prostitute."

Comments

  1. #1

    "Anyone who’s driven down K Street after sundown—around, oh, 6th Street or 11th Street NW—knows that tacking “K street” onto “whore” doesn’t clarify a damn thing."

    Is this something I'd have to live in DC to know about?

    Thank you for the geography lesson, but we know what he meant, and given the context, it's an appropriate comment.

  2. #2

    I don't know Jeremiah...what bugs me, is that a man would never be called this. He might be called a "K Street Creep" or "K Street Asshole" but WHORE wouldn't happen. Whore is gender specific, and no woman should be called whore in ANY context.

    He can and SHOULD call her out for being a corporate lobbying jerk...but a whore? Hmm.

  3. #3

    jules are you serious? a man would never be called that? i have called bernanke himself a banker whore for years. the term is not gender specific.
    ever heard the term corporate whore? heres the definition of whore:

    1 : a woman who engages in sexual acts for money : prostitute; also : a promiscuous or immoral woman
    2 : a male who engages in sexual acts for money
    3 : a venal or unscrupulous person

    2 of 3 definitions do not have to do with women. grayson obviously meant definition #3 as do most who call people corporate whores. it is obvious the context that was meant. plus this was sat on for a month and dropped to redstate last night by a new republican challanger Armando Gutierrez. its just political sniping and manufacturing faux outrage. lobbiest are whores, although that is potentially insulting to real whores. lobbiest are the lowest of the low, they deserve no respect whatsoever.

  4. #4

    Hooray for Alan Grayson...if only we had more like him on Capitol Hill! OK, so maybe a little more graceful language might be appropriate, but the comment begs a question...So if lobbyists on K Street (kind of like water in the ocean) are whores, then doesn't that make the folks in the Capitol who take money and favors from them a bunch of...Johns? Sex workers generally have more scruples - at least they don't kiss their marks before they , um, touch 'em.
    I say this: F&*(^&&&K lobbyists. With broomsticks. We pay the taxes and salaries of our, ahh, elected representatives ("representative" used very loosely). Write, call and email your Defenders of the Constitution and remind them of it at least once a month. And elect people with balls and spine...like Alan Grayson.

  5. #5

    Alan Grayson Calls A Whore A Whore-- Beltway Whores Freak Out

    Beltway Insiders are beginning to realize that attacking Alan Grayson comes with a price: you get crushed... like a bug. Before Grayson went off to law school and began a career holding war profiteers and corporate Bush cronies accountable, he studied economics... at Harvard. And then, unlike any other members of Congress, worked for several years as an economist. So last month when Enron's head lobbyist, Linda Robertson, reborn as the Fed's head lobbyist, attacked congressmen pushing for an audit of the Fed-- primarily Grayson and Ron Paul-- as ignorant of the difference between monetary policy and fiscal policy, Grayson reacted by pointing out that Robertson has a long and well-known career as a "K Street whore." She shills for whoever pays her. When it was Enron, she helped them steal billions of dollars from taxpayers and rate-payers and now that it's the Fed, she is crawling around DC starting whispering campaigns about members of Congress who are demanding the audit that the Fed dreads more than anything. Her problem, of course, is that more than half the members of Congress have signed on to the bill calling for the audit. So she's going after Ron Paul and Alan Grayson, the two who are pushing this the hardest.

    * downwithtyranny's diary :: ::
    *

    Suddenly, the month old exchange showed up-- courtesy of Robertson an undisclosed p.r. operative-- on Red State and Politico last night. The right, punked as usual, is aflame with indignation about Grayson calling this wonderful civil servant a whore. But some things transcend partisan ID, political party, ideology and the rest, not the least of which is the class solidarity of the Inside the Beltway elite. Alan Grayson didn't say they should all be lined up against a wall and shot; he probably wouldn't even agree with that as an excellent way to help get the country back on a good footing-- especially because there actually are some good one in the lot. But those good ones do not reside on K Street and no one not of that K Street Culture of Corruption world would count Linda Robertson as one of the good guys. She was, after all, the head of Enron's lobbying office-- a position that defines the word "whore." The outraged and offended congressmembers-- who realize a charge like this is an affront to all of their self-proclaimed senses of dignity-- would probably rather not discuss the substance of the claim.

    The characterization is a little too close for comfort for almost any member of Congress, since so many of them are whores as well, taking immense sums of money from the very corporations on whose interests they are legislating. Hence the outrage over Grayson's plainspoken declaration. Robertson's current job is to paint a rosy picture of an institution, the Fed, at the heart of the near collapse of the American financial structure. A former close associate of Wall Street shill Lawrence Summers and of bankster Robert Rubin, Robertson was already blackballed for a job at Treasury because the Obama Administration was still trying to persuade people (and itself) that they didn't hire lobbyists.

    Now, you might ask, are all lobbyists whores? Well, maybe not a lobbyist for the Society for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or a lobbyist for a firm urging the beating of swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks-- but that's not the kind of lobbyist Robertson has ever been. Pure and simple, Grayson hit that nail on the head: she's long been a K Street whore. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) took Grayson's remark quite personally-- and for good reason. Shrieking that Grayson "is out of control"-- one of the reasons why so many Americans love him-- she didn't mention that she sits on the Committee on Natural Resources (and it's subcommittee on water and power) and has solicited immense sums of money (thinly veiled bribes) from forest products companies, oil and gas companies, and electric utilities and, coincidentally, I'm sure, always votes in their interests and against the public interest. And if people start calling lobbyists like Linda Robertson whores, how long before they start realizing that the Honorable Congresswoman from Spokane is also a whore-- as are almost all of her colleagues.

  6. #6

    iceberg:

    I wonder why the first two definitions even make a distinction between male and female? Seems unnecessary, no?

  7. #7

    Amanda,

    I agree, it is superfluous.

  8. #8

    She sold out america, a traitor at best but it is a TRUE fact that Linda Robertson IS a K-Street WHORE. Also an ENRON whore

  9. #9

    Rep. Grayson is the best. This is not sexist. All K street lobbyist are whores man or woman. Some of them literally.

  10. #10

    It's called backpedaling not back-peddling. Get a dictionary. Loose your editor and spell checker.

  11. #11

    Seriously Amanda, loose your spell checker.

  12. #12

    I have always caled the money mongers that sap the very soul from the hard working people of the US, money whores. Mostly male, I think. This includes government, landlords, finance companies.

  13. #13

    Sorry all, I'm going to stand by my original statement. Even if the term whore can apply to men, it is OVERWHELMINGLY used to describe women. And let me say again that Linda Robertson is truly a soul-less individual.

  14. #14

    "Personally, I find casting lobbyists as “whores” offensive to sex workers."

    Amanda - Line of the year. You should win an Peabody for that line alone.

  15. #15

    I will get on loosing that spell-checker. It's been tied up in the backyard for far too long. I've also corrected that horrific spelling error!

  16. #16

    God, I knew the libtards would flock to this

  17. #17

    The fact that Bernanke hired a woman who lobbied for Enron tells us much about his "morals".

    Ben may look like a cuddly uncle but that's where the similarity ends. He does not give a fig for the 10million unemployed, all he cares about is the banks whose interests he serves..

  18. #18

    So this is what the Democratic Party has to offer us, the citizens of the US. What I like to know is when did this moron graduate from the James Trafacan school of public service.

    After eight years of the DUMB ASS Bush Administration, we now have the DUMB ASS Obama Administration, whats next? One thing I will say aa a gay man is that Republicans will tell you up front that they don't like you or agree with you, but Democrats will say they like you an support you and then stab you in the back. As far as Grayson calling this women a, "K Street whore" why are not his fellow Democrats in the House not asking for action being taken against him, like they did against, Rep. Joe Wilson (R,SC) for calling the President a "lier", where is the National Organization for Women on this issue

    Hiprocrisy!, Hiprocrisy!, Hiprocrisy!.

  19. #19

    Grayson is the biggest political pimp in town! He had to strike-not at Bernanke's moronic female assistant, but at her sex itself.

    We know what this jerk Democrat was implying. What can be quicker to hurt some woman on the HIll than calling her a 'whore'. Except that Grayson is the biggest pimp of htem all.
    Obama should tell this jerk to use language more appropriate to his sexist Harvard days. He was a jerk back then. He's still a woman-hating pig to this day!
    and I don't like Linda's tactics, either.
    This is about principles. And Grayson wouldn't know how to spell them!
    First we had the Bush Morons. Now we have Obamatons whose linguistic skills belong in a cheap brothel: The Hill! Don't give Grayson SWINE FLUE vaccination. He's got immunity fron his species...

  20. #20

    Yes, dear Harvard alumni!
    DON'T MIND GRAYSON
    HE'S JUST ANOTHER
    HARVARD SWINE
    MOOLLIGHTING
    AS A
    PIMP ON THE HILL himself!
    Low below-the-belt misogynist comment....

    What a pig of pimp!

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