Erica Jong and Matt Taibbi in Heated Huffpo Flab-Flap

ericajong Erica Jong and Matt Taibbi in Heated Huffpo Flab FlapThings are getting a bit heated over at the Huffington Post.

Yesterday, Erica Jong called out Rolling Stone‘s political correspondent Matt Taibbi for making a joke about Hillary Clinton’s (allegedly) flabby arms in an April 3 RS column. "Physical mockery ended in seventh grade, I thought—but apparently not where women pols are concerned," Ms. Jong wrote in a piece headlined Misogyny, Momism and Militarism. "I find it bizarre that a grown man would invoke a physical put-down in an opinion piece. It smacks of a complex of some sort."

Ms. Jong then went on to ask:

So what is wrong with American men? Particularly male journalists. I think it was discovered long ago and labeled ‘Momism’ by Philip Wylie in a virulently sexist book 1942 book called Generation of Vipers. The book went through many, many printings in the forties and fifties. It apparently struck many nerves. Momism is a kind of Oedipal obsession with the bad mother — to counter a boy’s attraction to his good mother.

Today, Mr. Taibbi responds in kind (well, more like unkind):

I feel compelled to respond to an article written in part about me by emigree contributor Erica Jong. According to the eight hundred year-old sex novelist, my offhand description of Hillary Clinton’s arms as ‘flabby’ means that I’m a misogynist and a sexist who is guilty of ‘Momism,’… The whole of her argument is based upon my use of that one word, ‘flabby’ — which she argues is evidence of my typically male tendency to fixate on the appearance of female politicians. Like other sexist men, I apparently trained my monomaniacal focus on Hillary’s appearance while while ignoring the paunches, liver spots and comb-overs of male politicians.

Mr. Taibbi then offers a laundry list of insults he’s hurled at male politicians over the years, including saying that Mike Huckabee "has lost 100 pounds, [and] has the roundish, half-deflated physique of an ex-fatty," and calling Boris Yeltsin "a pig … A human appendage of a rotting, corrupt state, a crook who would emerge even from the hottest bath still stinking of booze, concrete and sausage." (Somehow he managed to forget the time he joked of ailing Pope John Paul II, that when he dies you can "throw a marble at the dead Pope’s head. Bonk!")

Mr. Taibbi concludes, "[A]ccording to Jong, the reason I decided to use the term ‘flabby’ when describing Hillary Clinton is because, deep down inside, I want to fuck my mother. ‘And love is the problem, of course,’ Jong-Freud writes. ‘You cannot fuck your mother so you must revile her.’… I mean, wow. And I thought I was a hack."

Ouch! But then, it’s no worse than the sorts of thing’s Jong’s probably heard within her own family recently.