MSNBC's Toure Slams Barbara Walters From the Left for Sexist Interview with Hillary Clinton

Barbara Walters is known for asking ridiculous questions during her famous interviews, but this time it appears she has gone too far, annoying even the liberal co-hosts of MSNBC’s The Cycle.

The day after Barbara Walters’ annual Most Fascinating People Special Wednesday night, the cast of The Cycle, most notably co-host Toure, savaged Ms. Walters for her “embarrassing, dereliction of duty” interviews with Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie.  [See video below page break.  MP3 audio here.]

While we here at NewsBusters have criticized Walters for a puffball interview that completely omitted the Benghazi fiasco, the co-hosts of the view criticized Walters from the left, with Toure bashing Walters for her questions on Clinton's coiffure, saying such avoidance of substance for fluff was sexist: 

I want to talk about Barbara Walters because that moment about the hair and to the fat question to Christie, too embarrassing. Dereliction of duty.  What are you talking about, Barbara?  How can you spend time with a person who’s a very serious contender for the Presidency of the United States, Secretary of State, senator, all of these things, talking about her hair? This is a sort of media hurdle that serious women have to go through and here's an example of sexism being inflicted on another woman by a woman and Barbara goes on to say you would never ask a man that. So, why are you asking her that? Do you even recognize the sexism that you are activating and commenting on? No, you don't. I'm like cringing at this entire exchange.

Krystal Ball, a former Democratic congressional candidate who campaign was damaged by photos of her sporting sex toys at a party continued to attack Ms Walters from the left by commenting that:    

But the one that bothers me more than that that I heard so many people say is, oh, Hillary can't run. She looks tired. No one would ever say that about a man and it drives me nuts because I think there is this underlying sense in this society that once women start to visibly age then they should go hide in a corner, that they are no longer good to us and we don't want to see them and they shouldn't be in public life once they start to show age. So, that is the one that really, really bothers me.

MSNBC's token conservative/libertarian S.E. Cupp was the only co-host to bring up Benghazi during the discussion of Walters’ interview with Ms. Clinton suggesting that:

For all of the Hillary talk, I think one interesting thing to note, just because it's timely, is that she is going to be testifying next week on Benghazi. I don't know that this will have a huge effect on her candidacy in four years but I don't know that her legacy is entirely sewn up just yet.  She’s going to have to answer some questions.  We will see where that goes.

Even though the majority of the criticism of Ms. Walters was from the left, the fact that the liberal hosts of The Cycle decided to chastise Walters for her “dereliction of duty” is a positive step for MSNBC. However, it's one thing to recognize derelection of journalistic duty and another to forsake said dereliction.

It remains to be seen whether MSNBC itself can move from being a cheerleader of President Obama's reelection to a more balanced news organization that actually reports both sides of major political controversies and reports political news that doesn't help the Democratic agenda.

Something tells me that's not exactly on the network's new year's resolution list.

 

See relevant transcript below. 


MSNBC

The Cycle

December 13, 2012

3:15 p.m. EST

STEVE KORNACKI: Barbara Walters last night continued her long tradition of asking the hard-hitting questions to the most fascinating people of the year. On this year's list two politicians already fueling speculation about 2016, Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton. And well, some things never change.

BARBARA WALTERS: You are a little overweight.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: More than a little.

WALTERS: Yeah.

CHRISTIE: Yeah.

WALTERS: Why? There are people who say that you couldn't be president because you're so heavy. What do you say to that?

CHRISTIE: That's ridiculous. I mean that's ridiculous. I think people watched me for the last number of weeks in hurricane sandy doing 18-hour days, so I don't really think that would be a problem.

WALTERS: Your hair.

KORNACKI: If you were a tree, how fat would you be?  So that brings us to another hard-hitting edition of the spin cycle. And you can say a lot about Barbara Walters, a lot about these questions, but I actually do-- I'm kind of interested in talking a little bit about, yeah, Christie and you got Clinton on the list and you know whether it's Barbara Walters talking about them or anybody else in the media, these are names we are going to be hearing about a ton for the next three, four years, you know, viable contenders for 2016, all of that the Clinton one is interesting. My sort of take of the day on this we’re probably going to need a take of the day on Hillary for the next four years, today, it's this. I was struck this morning that David Axelrod, the President's top political adviser I think was at some kind of forum in Washington, and he basically said, I think the exact quote here is, he was asked about Hillary Clinton in 2016 and he said she would be in a very strong position. And it really strikes me that typically, the tradition is you got a -- Joe Biden wants to be President of the United States. He wants to run in 2016. In the tradition obviously is, a vice president who is in good standing in the administration, Al Gore under Clinton, you know, George Bush Senior under Reagan, they get that chance. Part of the job of being Vice President is they get to build toward succeeding the president ultimately.  And Biden has been a loyal vice president, by all measures, Obama enjoys working with him, likes having him around, he’s been an asset, all of these things.  He is not going to get that chance if Hillary Clinton runs.   Hillary Clinton has said herself, you’ve got the president's own advisers are basically saying, Hillary, that’s the formidable one, that’s were the action is and I think he’s right.  I mean it’s true.  If you put Biden against Clinton in 2016…

S.E. CUPP: Poor Joe Biden.

KORNACKI: It’s amazing to me that a sitting Vice-President is probably not going to get the first crack at it.

TOURE: It’s just horrible historical timing for Joe Biden. I’m not going to cry for Joe Biden.  My take of the day on Hillary Clinton she’s going to be the next President of the United States.  I think I have said that before. It’s going to be that the next four years, I want to talk about Barbara Walters because that moment about the hair and to the fat question to Christie, embarrassing. Dereliction of duty.  What are you talking about, Barbara?  How can you spend time with a person who’s a very serious contender for the Presidency of the United States, Secretary of State, Senator, all of these things, talking about her hair? This is a sort of media hurdle that serious women have to go through and here's an example of sexism being inflicted on another woman by a woman and Barbara goes on to say you would never ask a man that. So, why are you asking her that? Do you even recognize the sexism that you are activating and commenting on? No, you don't. I'm like cringing at this entire exchange.

CUPP: Have all the good questions been asked?

TOURE: Been asked. Yes. Yes.

KRYSTAL BALL: Sorry, Hillary, I got nothing.

CUPP: Toure, you're black, why?   Krystal, your hair.

TOURE: Or, you’re female, why?

BALL: Well, I have to say, yes, to all of that yes. And certainly, I, you know, have been there, getting the questions about the hair, telling me to cut it, shoes, dress, all of that when I was running for congress, but the one that bothers me more than that that I heard so many people say is, oh, Hillary can't run. She looks tired. No one would ever say that about a man and it drives me nuts because I think there is this underlying sense in this society that once women start to visibly age then they should go hide in a corner, that they are no longer good to us and we don't want to see them and they shouldn't be in public life once they start to show age. So, that is the one that really, really bothers me.

TOURE: You get about Susan Rice that she is abrasive.  Did you ever hear that about--?

BALL: Strident.

TOURE: Ever hear that about Henry Kissinger, or James Baker, that they’re bad people who are abrasive.  No, you would never say that about a man.

CUPP: For all of the Hillary talk, I think one interesting thing to note, just because it's timely, is that she is going to be testifying next week on Benghazi. I don't know that this will have a huge effect on her candidacy in four years but I don't know that her legacy is entirely sewn up just yet.  She’s going to have to answer some questions.  We will see where that goes. But from Benghazi to Ben Affleck. That just happened.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.