Tag Archives: Sexism

Malaka Of The Week: David Frum

Former Bush speechwriter turned neo-conservative, chickenhawk, wingnut columnist David Frum is overqualified for this humble weekly honor. He’s a very strong candidate for the malakatude hall of fame, which should have an entire wing devoted to the Bush/Cheney gang. David Frum routinely writes, says, and tweets stupid and untrue things so there’s a wealth of material to choose from. His recent gratuitous and mendacious comments about Serena Williams take the cake and that is why David Frum is malaka of the week.

It started on the Tweeter Tube.  The tweets were deleted but Frummy remained unapologetic in the Beavis-Duce administration style:

Serena Williams’ victory at Wimbledon, her fourth Grand Slam in a row, was a singular athletic achievement. Williams’ victory was her twenty-first Grand Slam victory overall and strengthened her claim as the greatest female tennis players of all time — and one of the greatest athletes ever in any sport. It was celebrated by millions around the world.

David Frum had a different reaction.

Frum, a former adviser to George W. Bush who is now the Senior Editor of The Atlantic, strongly suggested that Williams was on steroids based on her physical appearance:

[Blogger’s note: To see screenshots of the expletive deleted tweets, click the link above.]

Frum expanded on his suspicions in a series of tweets he later deleted, claiming they were intended to be “a private Twitter conversation with a friend.” In his deleted tweets, Frum compared Serena to admitted dopers in other sports like Mark McGwire and Lance Armstrong.

Yo, Frummy. Twitter is a public forum. Unless you’re direct messaging, ain’t nothing private on the Tweeter Tube. You just got caught with your wingnut wingtip in your mouth.

Daniel Koffler, a medical student and competitive power lifter who has worked as a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist, says there’s no reason to suspect Williams based on her physical appearance. “Women can, and very frequently do, achieve levels of muscular size and strength not just equal to but greater than Serena Williams’ without using steroids,” Koffler told ThinkProgress.

Koffler said it impossible to tell with certainty whether someone has used steriods based on their physical appearance. But, according Koffler’s, Williams’ physique creates “no rational basis for heightened suspicion.”

In an email to ThinkProgress, Frum declined to elaborate on why he suggested that Serena’s accomplishments were tainted with steroid use.

Williams is one of the most frequently drug tested players in men’s or women’s tennis. In 2014 alone, she was tested four to six times during competition and more than seven times outside of competition. (Tests outside of competition are considered the most important to catching illegal doping.) Williams has never been implicated in the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs.


UPDATE JUL 13, 2015 10:51 AM

Frum appeared on Roland Martin’s show on TV One on Monday morning to defend his tweets. Frum largely attempted to shift the topic to a general discussion of steroid use in tennis. He did, however, assert there was reason to suspect Serena Williams in particular. Frum suggested that during a two year period from 2010 to 2011, Serena Williams was not drug tested at all. During that time period, Williams was tested for drugs at least eight times, according to an official International Tennis Federation report. In an email, Frum said he was referencing “out of competition” testing. That claim is true, although professional tennis conducted only a handful of “out of competition” blood tests during those years. Over the last 3 years, Serena has been subjected to at least 12 “out of competition” blood tests.

There you have it in a wingnut shell: Frum doesn’t know anything and made shit up to support his insupportable allegations. Sounds depressingly like his defense of the Iraq War and the WMDs that were never found despite the grand claims of the Bushies.

I’m not a big tennis fan but Serena Williams is a great athlete and a great champion. Her accomplishments have been minimized because of her gender and race. Being a former GOP hack, Frum knows how to use code words instead of being blatantly racist and sexist but we know what he’s driving at.

The other element of Frum’s malakatude is a guy thing: he goes on about “body image issues” as a code for juicing. There are far too many men who judge all women on the basis of whether they find them attractive. It doesn’t matter if Malaka Frum and his micro-penis thinks Serena is hot or not. He may think so but it doesn’t mean shit to a tree.  I’m sure he thinks Maria Sharapova is hot but she lost to Serena in the Wimbledon semi-finals for the 17th consecutive time. Oops.

I realize that in the context of Frum’s long and errant career as a GOP hack and  minor league pundit, this attack on Serena Williams doesn’t amount to much. It’s a misdemeanor in a lifetime of felonious lies and distortions. It does, however, bug the living shit out of me. Anytime someone doesn’t like an athlete, they accuse them of  juicing as a way of minimizing their achievements. Serena Williams is a great champion. David Frum is a pissant, and that is why he’s malaka of the week.

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