Jane Skinner: American Hero

Jane Skinner, American Hero

News broke yesterday that Jane Skinner—formerly of Fox News, currently wife of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell—operates a secret, under-the-radar Twitter account with which she searches for mean mentions of her husband and defends him vociferously. Here's the Wall Street Journal with the scoop:

The most frequent sparring partner for @forargument is the nation’s sports media. On Sept. 26, @ProFootballTalk, the Twitter account for the popular NBC Sports blog, tweeted that it was "on the commissioner" to solve the anthem issues.

In response, @forargument tweeted: "Please do better reporting. He is already doing this. You are behind."

Who is this valiant defender of a man who has so few defenders?

It is Roger Goodell’s wife, Jane Skinner Goodell, The Wall Street Journal confirmed after an examination of the account.

"It was a REALLY silly thing to do and done out of frustration—and love." Mrs. Goodell said Thursday afternoon in a written statement. "As a former media member, I’m always bothered when the coverage doesn’t provide a complete and accurate picture of a story. I’m also a wife and a mom. I have always passionately defended the hard-working guy I love—and I always will. I just may not use Twitter to do so in the future!"

Here's the thing: I don't care what you think about Goodell or his reign as commissioner or the iron fist with which he rules the NFL, meting out justice like a god atop Olympus. Love him, hate him, that's neither here nor there. One thing we all should be able to agree on is this: Jane Skinner is a great American and an early contender for wife of the year.

Her actions here are not only understandable, they're totally defensible. Of course she was angry about know-nothings slagging her husband! Of course she was blinded by rage and love and felt the need to do something! Of course she couldn't just sign up on Twitter as @CommishWife and start berating the media! That would be ridiculous and embarrassing for all involved.

Look, I'm old enough to remember when it was really irresponsible and wrong to just go around doxing pseudonymous Twitter accounts—the true heroes of the Internet, mind you—because we didn't like what they said. I'm not saying that the Wall Street Journal shouldn't have reported this out; in fact, I'm kind of glad they did. I for one respect Skinner even more now than I did during her blockbuster run on the Fox News Channel, when she delivered news updates with verve and grace on a daily basis. But we should all recognize that, sometimes, anonymity is good and proper.

This is one of those times.

Anyway, Skinner has nothing to apologize for and everyone who got mad about her loving defense of the man she married should take a good, long look in the mirror. Wouldn't you want your loved ones to do the same for you? Wouldn't you be happy to know that someone loved you enough to do battle with the witless jackaninnies on social media on your behalf, a Sisyphean struggle if ever there was one? Leave Jane Skinner alone. She's a better person than most of you could ever hope to be.