In a new interview on Huffington Post with Seema Kalia (her biweekly post called “My Favorite Mistake”), New York Times bestselling author Naomi Wolf (The End of America) reveals that her most favorite mistake was working on Al Gore’s 2000 presidential bid as a paid consultant, rather than an unpaid volunteer. This left her unable to take on the urban myth created by the GOP that she was helping Gore with being an “alpha” male and with picking out “earth tones.”
Here’s what she has to say:
Writers have to be free to criticize anybody and criticize the powers that be and to always be transparent with their readers. So since I was formally signed up with the campaign rather than volunteering as I had in ’96 I wasn’t in a position, contractually, to hit back against the evil Republican National Committee when they started to circulate pernicious things about what I was doing on the campaign. The whole “Alpha Male” flap, the whole “earth tone” (wardrobe) flap was completely invented out of whole cloth – the stuff of urban legends, but they were such good urban legends they quickly got picked up by the mainstream media because no one was fact-checking it, and my hands were tied.
Wolf said she signed up for a paid slot on the Gore campaign because, as a feminist, she wanted to be paid to do what men were paid to do when consulting for a campaign, rather than just being a volunteer. She was also there to advise Gore on women’s issues, such as social security, family leave, and flextime—NOT his outfits.
She then went on to talk about her current campaign work, which is that of the American Freedom Campaign and its effort to get 1,000 lawyers to call for a special prosecutor to investigate crimes committed by the Bush Administration.
To be sure, such a call for a prosecutor is no mistake.