Martha Stewart

Taking stock of people and ideas in the news.
Oct. 22 1999 9:00 PM

Martha Stewart

She's a good thing.

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We should do the same. Critics have savaged her fraudulent persona and monomaniacal perfectionism for a long time. There is a subtle sexism in that: The female domestic tycoon is obliged to behave better than the guys. (This is why Oprah's private life is examined more carefully than David Letterman's.)

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Fortunately, commerce has trumped personality. Martha is finally being treated as the CEO of a company called Omnimedia, not as a bitchy hausfrau. In the age of the divine entrepreneur, no one cares how badly you treat your kid. We admire perfectionist monomania in Internet tycoons, so why not in Martha? Politicians get away with advertising bogus family bliss; Martha should too. On television, Martha shows us how to make a romantic dinner for the husband she doesn't have, host a party for the kids she doesn't like, bake muffins for the neighbors who hate her. But those are her tragedies, not our business (or Wall Street's). The muffins are still tasty, and that's what matters.

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