As long as Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth is looking for old guys to toss overboard, may I suggest columnist Richard Cohen? All she’ll need to show cause is his latest column, a weird melange of universal yearning and general leering at young people. Gawker has already taken a look at the creepy vibe of the column, but as a public service to the Post, let’s dive in.
Cohen’s starting complaint is that casting Daniel Craig as James Bond makes Bond too fit. Cohen would prefer Bond as Sean Connery, more of a futzy middle-aged guy with enough sophistication to seduce much younger women and save his country. “Western civilization was saved not on account of his pecs but on account of his cleverness and experience,” Cohen writes.
Men like Connery and Cary Grant, Cohen writes, project a sexiness that was irresistible to women half their age:
These older men seduce; they are not seduced. They make love. They do not score.
I wonder what other older man, maybe a distinguished journalist with decades of experience, Cohen is thinking of. Later, he makes the comparison more explicit:
He does not woo women; they just come on to him. Still, I have great hope for him. In this movie, Bond’s drink is Macallan Scotch. It’s mine, too. The name is Cohen.
As Gawker points out, Cohen is notorious for pursuing a younger Post editorial aide in the late ’90s, allegedly once telling the woman to stand up and turn around so he could get a better look at her. Perhaps a wiser man would avoid writing about seducing younger women after that news, but then, what would be silver-fox sexy about that?
Even creepier, according to the New York Observer, the object of Cohen’s desire looked like a young Sally Quinn. That’d be the same Sally Quinn who, with Cohen, supposedly inspired When Harry Met Sally. Is nothing sacred when it comes to Richard Cohen’s worldly, salt-and-pepper sexiness?