Winking Intentions

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hara Estroff Marano, editor at large for Psychology Today talks about what people are supposed to infer from the body language of winking.


Hara Estroff Marano

Comments [53]


To support the Obama | Biden campaign, we're launching a new T-shirt graphic for sale at and A $5 dollar mark-up after expenses will be donated.

The design is inspired by last week's "a wink and prayer" Vice Presidential debate, with Sarah Palin sending a signal to America that she wasn't a Washington insider and "change was coming to Washington." Well, we're winking right back, but want to remind the GOP that the Obama campaign is the original party to bring "real" change to Washington.

Oct. 07 2008 10:35 AM


Fair enough. But truth be told, people tend to rant and rave at broken record tempo when they're utterly stupefied by what's being served up. He could've picked ROMNEY and still had my respect.

And unless you're too busy feeling "sparks" and "starbursts" over Palin's winking, like that National Review guy, you would be pissed, too.

Let's face it, compared to the horror of McCain's selection of Palin, Maranoff is practically Gretchen Mol.

Oct. 06 2008 09:25 PM

Brian, is this is best you can do? She is an idiot. This is from her bio- Hara Estroff Marano is an author, journalist and editor who, although not a trained psychologist herself has been Editor-at-Large of Psychology Today for the past 15 years...

Oct. 06 2008 07:00 PM
Timmy from NJ

It is true, Hara Estroff Marano is fugly ugly...

Oct. 06 2008 06:50 PM
JDG from NYC

Eva, you sound like a broken record, get a life.

Oct. 06 2008 06:22 PM

How does that explain Peggy Noonan's lack of enthusiasm? Or Kathleen Parker's?
And I'm sorry, but it's pathetic that we even have to discuss the winking hijinks of a potential vice president.

Would Maggie Thatcher wink, or need to wink? (Maggie, who was, btw, once a very, very attractive woman, and, incidentally, brilliant.)

How about Olympia Snowe?

Christie Todd Whitman?

Then why is Sarah Palin doing it, other than out of desperation, because she's been pulled in way, way, way over her head?

And I'm sorry, but I was a big critic of Hillary, and to say that I'm sexist for criticizing either of these female candidates is a joke, joke joke.

Oct. 06 2008 04:04 PM
RadRepub from Upper Left Side

I googled the guest's photo. Hara Estroff Marano is pissed because no one would wink at her--nor would anyone want to received a wink from Marano. Google for yourself and see what I mean.

Oct. 06 2008 03:17 PM

On Palin:

I am not an anti-hunter, but there are limits. Aerial shooting of wolves is the emasculation of hunting - it is not just bad for wolves, but it allows men to further emasculate themselves.

There is no macho contest when you have a high-powered rifle and are shooting at animals FROM A HELICOPTER. Give me a BREAK.

This video was made available through Andrew Sullivan's website.

I have many concerns about Palin as a candidate, but this is probably the most viscerally disturbing video of a policy she fought for and continues to support. This is clearly unethical.

Oct. 06 2008 02:13 PM
Rich McBride from in UN-abused neighborhood

Amazing how many winking-barracuda fans listen to your show, Brian. Amazed at criticism looking at behavior demonstrated by an erstwhile leader. I am in the business of leadership behavior and it is ALL relevant and meaningful. I won't presume to tell you how to interpret her behavior, but will insist it is indeed worth noting and examining whether or not you find this behavior worthy of an individual seeking such an important leadership position.

Does your CEO wink? How would it be received if they did?

I can't help but wonder if our current leadership has not impacted the standards of leadership we once expected.

Oct. 06 2008 01:50 PM
John Gill from NYC

Your smarmy, biased guest actually made me turn off my radio. What was the point?

Oct. 06 2008 01:44 PM

Is it too inconvenient to address the issue of what Kathleen Parker, not a "lefty", thinks of Sarah Palin's winking?
Is it too inconvenient for you to address Peggy Noonan's concerns about Sarah Palin.
As stated earlier, you don't have to be a lefty to recognize that this woman is unqualified, and was inexplicably chosen over Olympia Snowe and other experienced (if unsexy and unwinking) Republican mavericks.
Why should an intelligent woman like Kelly degrade herself by defending Palin? It makes no sense...

Oct. 06 2008 12:06 PM
Kelly from Park Slope

Louise -- turns out there are plenty of limousine liberals - hypocrites like Gore and his private carbon-emitting airplane...Hollywood lefties like Susan Sarandon and child abuser Alec Baldwin who are drenched in money and threaten to leave America to Canada if Bush, I mean McCain wins...

Oct. 06 2008 12:01 PM
D from NYC

I don't know what the winking stands for, because it stands for so many things.

Is there a poll I can read so that I know which side I should be on?

Oct. 06 2008 11:55 AM
louise from summit

What a garbagy interview. You let Ms. Morano run on and on (and on) re her negative interpretation of Sarah Palin's winking. Then you had callers who ALL piled on more negative comments re S.P. I know this is called throwing red meat to the base. Did it ever occur to you that your irrational left base isn't as large, financially, as you think? They may be loud, but that may not translate into all the dollars you need in your fund raising drives. I am mystified as to why the average person, after listening to this interview, would donate any money to you guys.

Oct. 06 2008 11:49 AM
Kelly from Park Slope

#37 - if another psychological "expert" went on air to tell us how he/she is sick to her stomach us about Obama's speaking quirks and how he sounds more ethnic depending on his audience and all his other pandering (‘I’m Not Going to Take Your Guns Away’), I'm sure the Dems and lefties would be whining about racism and distracting away from the issues...

Dem/lefty hypocrisy is so transparent and would be humorous if it wouldn't be so disturbing...

Oct. 06 2008 11:42 AM
Jay F. from manhattan

#32 Snoop: ".... they are certainly not her biggest liability. The English language are."

That would be: "The English language IS."

Oct. 06 2008 11:28 AM

Kathleen Parker isn't a partisan hack, and she also thought the winking was inappropriate and offensive.
Here ya go (wink):
"No, it was girly, silly, unserious and obnoxious. One of the great lessons of The Bible, with which surely Gov. Palin is familiar, is that there is a time and place for all things. For serious people, winking gotchas during a vice presidential debate is absurd and insulting."
If you don't believe Kathleen, maybe you want to ask Peggy Noonan what SHE thought.
Let's face it, you don't have to be a partisan hack to find Palin unacceptable.

Oct. 06 2008 11:11 AM
Kelly from Park Slope

My stomach churned in disgust as I listened to the Palin-hating guest Hara Estroff Marano intellectualize winks and tell us which are allowed in politics and which aren't.

This type of viscous commentary is so biased and trivial ....what is the point?

Who cares what some partisan psychological hack thinks about Sarah Palin...?

wink, wink

Oct. 06 2008 11:09 AM

How can you be a Christian conservative and yet wink at everyone else's husband from the TV set? That sort of flirtation is not only unbefitting a VP, but it's seriously lacking in piety.
There's a disconnect going on here that I just find, uh, disconcerting. This winking might have done more to alienate the undecided women's vote than anything else.
As a woman, I tend to be really careful about this sort of thing - not just not winking at men, but showing respect for other women by not flirting with their partners. It's probably less piety on my part than social survival - who wants to be seen as a potential homewrecker? For example, if I'm leaving the house of a married male-female couple after dinner, I will always say the final goodbye and the final regard to the woman, especially if they are older. It's kind of a little thing, but it's a measure of respect and deference. So that, you know, the free meal invitations keep coming...
If a social moron like myself (my EQ is in the negative numbers) can figure that out, why can't the potential VP?
I'm sorry, but I was really shocked by Palin's winking.

Oct. 06 2008 11:04 AM
hjs from 11211

next up: did biden really get choked up or was he faking it?

Oct. 06 2008 11:03 AM
Daniel W. from Jackson Heights

In a chat this morning on, Kathleen Parker, the conservative columnist who recently made waves by suggesting that Palin leave the ticket, was asked how she felt about Palin's winking during the debate.

Parker's response:
"The winking was beyond annoying. I haven't talked to any women who weren't deeply offended by her flirting for votes. But she was clearly told to do it. Her coaches said, go for it, honey. Flyover America will love it. We'll see if they were right.

"No, it was girly, silly, unserious and obnoxious. One of the great lessons of The Bible, with which surely Gov. Palin is familiar, is that there is a time and place for all things. For serious people, winking gotchas during a vice presidential debate is absurd and insulting."

Dynamite tactic, team McCain!

Oct. 06 2008 11:02 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

You know, whenever Bill O'Reilly has his "body language" segment on The Factor, I always laugh because it provides some comic relief during the show. But I cannot believe we are actually taking this winking business seriously here. Come on!! Sometimes people just wink out of habit. Stop reading so much into these meaningless gestures.

Oct. 06 2008 11:02 AM
Snoop from Brooklyn

Rather sad to focus on the winks... Palin gave a horrible performance at the debate. Why don't we talk about that?

I admit that Palin provided no substance, making her rather difficult to criticize, but asking why she was incapable of providing substance would have been a more interesting topic.

Ah well, I do agree that her winks are not appropriate. But they are certainly not her biggest liability. The English language are.

Oct. 06 2008 11:01 AM
Ash in Manhattan from Manhattan

Er, am I the only one on this planet who did not even notice the winking? I watched the debate in its entirety and the only thing I noticed was the annoying whining quality of Governor Palin's speech (which I have not heard anyone mention).

Oct. 06 2008 11:01 AM
Monique from brooklyn

Both online editions of Die Welt and Frankfurter Allgemeine had front page images of Sarah Palin after the vice presidential debates of her mid-wink. It was not a flattering image. It looked like a cross between a snarl and a smirk.

No matter what her intention here, I think the lasting impression from her winking is not a positive image.

Oct. 06 2008 11:01 AM
Craig from Astoria


Let me help you out:

The wink is a sexual come-on to white men.

Miss "Drill Baby Drill"

is all about using her sex to manipulate.

Oct. 06 2008 10:59 AM
Kevin from New York

Wink wink nudge nudge say no more! say no more!

Oct. 06 2008 10:58 AM
Mike from Jersey City from NJ

Are you going to have a psychologist do a sequence on the hour FOX devoted to Senator Obama's connection to former domestic terrorists?

Oct. 06 2008 10:58 AM
hjs from 11211

the joke's on you-wink

Oct. 06 2008 10:57 AM
Ronnie from brooklyn

When all else fails...

flirt with the electorate.

Oct. 06 2008 10:57 AM
Franceonisland from NYC

Spending precious public radio time to discuss Sarah Palin's wink? Here's another excuse for Manhattan snobbery to rear its ugly head. You are giving New Yorkers a bad name. I think I'll put my public radio dollars elsewhere from now on! Oy!

Oct. 06 2008 10:57 AM
mana amidi from New York

I come from an Islamic country and I shudder at the thought of Palin winking at somebody from those regions. She might as well announce, "I'm a loose woman."

Oct. 06 2008 10:57 AM
Leonardo Andres

Its hard to take a guest seriously when she is laughing at her own little "analysis" before she even says a word. shes probably voting for mccain, sarcasm fully intended.

Oct. 06 2008 10:57 AM
Camille from UWS

Winks always meant to me that you are sharing a secret and keeping it from someone else. In this case I was confused because, what was she keeping from Senator Biden that he didn't already know? On national TV???

Oct. 06 2008 10:56 AM
Paula Heisen from Manhattan

I thought she was blinking because her bangs were in eye. Can't believe I missed a wink.

Oct. 06 2008 10:56 AM
LKS from Harlem

Brian seriously. This is a show topic?

Oct. 06 2008 10:56 AM
hjs from 11211


Oct. 06 2008 10:55 AM
KC from NYC

But wasn't the oil drilling wink extremely targeted? All those "drill baby drill" people WANT to believe this ticket is in favor of giving our natural resources to the oil companies, and that's kind of what she was saying to them (while adding that she's even a "maverick" on her own ticket's policies).

Oct. 06 2008 10:55 AM
Nan from NYC

I think the guest should calm down and get over herself. Relax!
I wink all the time for the reason's the guest has stated: to hint at inclusiveness, 'shared secret', or when I am being wry or 'clever'.

Oct. 06 2008 10:55 AM
Jay F. from manhattan

Great Reportage, Brian... Smug and one sided.
Is today a slow news day?

Oct. 06 2008 10:54 AM
Mike from Jersey City from NJ

This is beginning to look like a serious effort at deflection. Senator Biden made a number of blatantly false statements during this debate.

But what the "unbiased" media is filling airtime with is "winkology" and making fun of her dialect.

This is what my tax dollars -- in the form of the tax subsidies WNYC enjoys -- are paying for?

Oct. 06 2008 10:54 AM
Jay F. from manhattan

Great reportage Brian: one sided and smug.
Is it that slow of a news day?

Oct. 06 2008 10:54 AM
Mike from NYC

This is right up there with "terrorist fist jab" as assinine analysis. Where did you get this guest? She didn't watch the debate, and she can't really explain what's so "inappropriate" about it?

Oct. 06 2008 10:54 AM

It's hard to read this guest; who do you think she supports?

Oct. 06 2008 10:54 AM
Inquiring Minds

nice, unbiased guest ;)

Oct. 06 2008 10:54 AM
Chuck Renaud from Brooklyn

Sara Palin is disgusting.

She is amazingly unqualified, simple minded and sarcastic.

Oct. 06 2008 10:53 AM
Alex from brooklyn

Her winks mean, "Remember, I'm your adorable lipsticked pitbull!"

Oct. 06 2008 10:52 AM
Joe from DUMBO

QUESTION: Was she winking at us in preparation of hoodwinking us?

Oct. 06 2008 10:51 AM
kristen balouch

Brian!! I will never wink again!

Oct. 06 2008 10:51 AM
Leonardo Andres

I think the wink means that Sarah Palin is secretly in love with me `At least thats what i think whenever anyone winks at me.

Oct. 06 2008 10:50 AM
keith from inwood

It is one more example of taking a page from the Bush playbook. I remember him winking to some undisclosed entity after giving answers at debates, along with a "heckofajob" smirk to himself.

Oct. 06 2008 10:49 AM
RadRepub from Upper Left Side

Sarah can wink at me all day long!

Oct. 06 2008 09:49 AM

hmm, i wonder

Oct. 06 2008 09:30 AM

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