Three morons on FOX interview a professor of history and ask him if Lady Liberty is really a guy.
The French, gave the U.S. a statue in 1886. It was built by Gustave Eiffel (the same Eiffel) and designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. The statue itself is of a robed female representing Libertas, the Roman goddess, who bears a torch and a “tabula ansata” (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.
It’s been a symbol of the United States of America for centuries and, more specifically, a symbol of immigration. Most recently it’s been a constant source of amusement as we watch Conservatives flip their lids over the history of the statue.
The poem, “The New Colossus,” known to all, was written by Emma Lazarus, a woman and Sephardic Jew. It’s on a plaque and is mounted inside the pedestal of the statue. Part if it reads,
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Last year a story was floating around by a couple of media outlets – the Smithsonian for one – that the model for the statue was most likely a female Egyptian peasant. According to Smithsonian.com, in 1855, Bartholdi visited Nubian monuments at Abu Simbel, which feature tombs guarded by gigantic colossus figures. Bartholdi became fascinated by the ancient architecture, developing what the National Park Service calls a “passion for large-scale public monuments and colossal structures.” Eventually, he channeled that passion into a proposal for the inauguration of the Suez Canal.
The statue was eventually repurposed into its current state after Egypt decided it had spent enough on the Suez Canal and didn’t want to fork over any more money for a statue. Conservatives spent a good amount of time flipping out over the thought of a female Muslim peasant representing the U.S.
And then there’s FOX, who along with a good number of Republicans seems to be obsessed with people’s junk and what they have in their pants or up their skirts. In the latest inane display of idiocy, King of all idiots, FOX, trotted out an expert days before Independence Day, apparently to subject him to stupid theories and questions, and ask him if Lady Liberty was in fact, a man. You know, a 19th century transgender model, snuck in here by the French as some sort of joke.
New York University Professor Edward Berenson brought up documentation that has been preserved regarding who modeled for the sculptor, saying, “This guy [Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi], when he was in New York wrote his mother every single day. If he wasn’t going to do his mom and was going to do his brother instead, we’d have that in the correspondence.”
The blond talking head, who had to have graduated elementary school as a favor to someone, then asks Berenson, “I just assume somebody was playing a prank on us. Are we supposed to think this French guy was pulling a fast one on the U.S., ‘Hey, I’m going to say it’s a woman but it’s really going to be a guy? And they’re not going to be able to figure it out for a really long time.’”
So in their crazy anti-LGBT hysteria, the folks over at FOX have to turn even a benign story about the Statue of Liberty into a French prank about sending over a transgender statue.
Making the segment a bit more interesting: towards the end, when they’re thanking the Professor, the hosts says, “Hey, thanks for coming in to give us your side of the story.”
“Your side of the story?” Edward Berenson, PhD is a Professor of History and the Director of the Institute of French Studies at the University of Rochester. It’s not his opinion; it’s history, for the love of God.
Here’s the interview with Professor Berenson, who I doubt will be accepting many more appearances on FOX.
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