Once again, Thomas Roberts seems to confuse his job as a news reporter with a Democratic political strategist. Appearing as a fill-in host on Morning Joe on July 3, Thomas Roberts continued the MSNBC “victory lap” for Texas state senator Wendy Davis by criticizing men for passing laws designed at creating safer health standards for abortion clinics.
At issue was a piece by Kathleen Parker who in the Washington Post commented that Ms. Davis shouldn’t be sainted for her filibuster and how “little less glee from the bleachers would seem more appropriate to the moment.” Roberts, who regularly uses liberal talking points during his 11:00 a.m. MSNBC show, brought his same talking points to Morning Joe, arguing that, “men should not care about the sanctity of sperm over a women's right to choose so much.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The MSNBC host’s liberalism didn’t stop there, instead choosing to double down in support of Wendy Davis’ actions:
There are too many Republican men that need a refresher course and a manual to how reproductive rights work and a woman's vagina.
Apparently Roberts believes that 20-week abortion bans and updating the health and safety standards of abortion clinics is akin to men needing a “refresher course and manual” on the female body. Apparently he feels that Ms. Davis should not be criticized for her actions and instead must be celebrated by the media:
The fact that these are seasoned women who don't really have to worry about a woman's right to choose anymore piling on a woman who’s standing up for a woman's right to choose.
Roberts seems to be offended at Ms. Parker’s comments because he along with the rest of MSNBC, excluding Joe Scarborough, have literally been providing Ms. Davis a “victory lap” rather than being objective journalists. MSNBC has not only blurred the line between journalism and activism but has actually erased the line altogether, especially on the issue of abortion.
Unfortunately, readers of NewsBusters shouldn’t be surprised at Roberts’ actions as he frequently uses is MSNBC position to push pro-abortion talking points, such as using a false abortion story to smear conservatives and bringing on three consecutive guests to promote abortion in one segment. Thomas should reconsider Scarborough’s advice and stop providing Ms. Davis a “victory lap” and return to his job of being a journalist.
See relevant transcript below.
July 3, 2013
6:43 a.m. Eastern
MARK HALPERIN: And we’re going to look at one now from the Washington Post Kathleen Parker writes Wendy Davis shouldn't be sainted for her filibuster. Almost without exception, Davis has been regaled as a heroin of the war on women, a new gladiator in the pantheon of feminist warriors. As such, she has faced such probing questions as how are you even awake today and what was it like for standing that long? Like wowser-zowser, wonder woman, will you filibuster again? When the question of whether we should destroy human life at any stage is reduced to theater leaving many journalists gushing like breathless red carpet commentators, we have lost more than a sense of decorum. One may agree with Davis' principled stand on the Texas bill, which she argued tried to do too much. Even so, a little less glee from the bleachers would seem more appropriate to the moment. Though Nicole obviously it’s great when we find new political figures to look up to and what she did--
NICOLE WALLACE: Especially when they’re women.
HALPERIN: Especially when they’re women. But what she did was to be admired but what do you think about what Kathleen Parker’s arguing regarding the coverage’s she’s gotten since this started.
WALLACE: I think Kathleen is always spot on, particularly when it comes to threading the needle between celebrating new and important female leaders and focusing on their femaleness. And I think that Kathleen Parker was sort of the first to be on to Sarah Palin getting more attention for being an iconic conservative female as opposed to just an iconic conservative at the moment that she delivered her convention speech, which was, I think we can all agree, her high point. And I think once again Kathleen makes a really important point. And one that all women, not just in politics but in any field all women grapple with. You welcome the attention, particularly if you're advocating a cause that is near and dear and important to you as obviously this one is, but I think when it borders into things like how she's standing for so long and the appearance and the femaleness about it, I think that's still says something not very good about how we cover women in politics.
THOMAS ROBERTS: But wasn't she standing up for femaleness in general and women's reproductive rights? It's interesting to see Kathleen Parker and people like Peggy Noonan who will pile on a female leader who's emerging.
WALLACE: See this is a very interesting phenomena. Women are usually the first to pile on to other women.
ROBERTS: Well they're certainly the first to pile on. And the fact that these are seasoned women who don't really have to worry about a woman's right to choose anymore piling on a woman who’s standing up for a woman's right to choose.
WALLACE: Well let me say every woman and man should care about the issue no matter what side you come down on.
ROBERTS: They should but men should not care about the sanctity of sperm over a women's right to choose so much, and there are too many Republican men that need a refresher course and a manual to how reproductive rights work and a woman's vagina.
WALLACE: I'll leave that to you. If you want to put together a manual, knock yourself out.
ROBERTS: You've heard enough Republicans talk about how they think the woman's reproductive body works to prove--
WALLACE: I think you're talking about very damaging comments that Republicans made about inappropriate rape or rape--
WALLACE: Is that what you're getting at?
WALLACE: A topic that never ceases to entertain the media.
ROBERTS: But it all leads us into this issue of talking about what deals with a woman's body and when is it right for her right to choose the course for her body, Wendy Davis is standing up for that, so when Kathleen Parker or Peggy Noonan pile on to chastise her, it's interesting to think that they’re not standing up for reproductive rights so much as they are trying to tear her down.