Catfights and Cleavage: Epic Dust-Up on Hardball Pits Morgan vs. Wolf

UPDATE: View video here via HotAir.

I tuned in to watch "Hardball," and the Miller Beer catfight commercial broke out, right down to the cleavage . . .

There was an epic dust-up on this afternoon's show between feminist Naomi Wolf and conservative radio talk show host Melanie Morgan.

At the risk of burying the lead a bit, I can't resist observing that Naomi Wolf might just be the most passively aggressive woman in America. She has an amazing, infuriating, ability to keep a smile plastered on her face while saying the nastiest of things. It took her no more than a few seconds to get into it with guest host Mike Barnicle on this evening's Hardball. Barnicle invited Wolf to comment on the WaPo story about Hillary showing cleavage on the floor of the Senate, introducing her as a Democratic consultant and former advisor to Al Gore who had advised him to wear earth tones. But before responding, Naomi had some correctin' to do.

NAOMI WOLF: Mike, let me just stop you right there. You basically have not done your homework, no offense [right]. First of all, I'm not a Democratic consultant, I'm a writer. Second of all, I was advising Gore 2000 on women's issues that I've been talking about for 15 years . . . so you've just been, the Republican National Committee came up with a bunch of urban legends, and I'm afraid they pulled the wool over your eyes.
Pretty aggressive. Yet Wolf managed to maintain a brilliant, nay, beatific smile throughout. But when it came to aggression, Wolf was just clearing her throat.
WOLF: This administration uses very nasty, dark, tactics like smearing critics and dissenters.
Wolf then took the attack to her fellow guest, Melanie Morgan.
WOLF: And Melanie, I'd like to confront you. You've done this too. You attacked Bill Keller [of the New York Times] when he published the Swift banking articles [the terrorist banking data surveillance program]. You essentially accused him of treason.
Morgan was unapologetic.
MORGAN: Yes, Naomi, I did. It was right here on Hardball in fact where I said that anybody who publishes classified data in a time of war in a highly-successful program, such as the Swift program, they should be tried for treason. If they were found guilty of treason I would have no problem with them being executed. That's my exact quote . . .And I believe Senator Hillary Clinton is engaging in very dangerous and very, very unfortunate choice of words here. She has creeped constantly leftwards and it is hurting our military and . . . what she is driving towards is a premature evacuation of the battlefield, leaving Iraq in disarray and the American troops as losers. That is wrong.
Wolf then upped the vitriol ante.
WOLF: Melanie, if I could get a word edge-wise, the American people have to know, no disrespect, actually, a lot of disrespect, you're playing a very dangerous game because when in American history leaders start to say critical speech is treason, critical speech is disloyal or unpatriotic, I mean that's what they did in the McCarthy era.
Morgan is no shrinking violet.
MORGAN: It is unpatriotic. We have real men and women who are in a blistering sandbox in Iraq right now facing 130 degree temperatures and their lives and limbs are being shot off, and for you and anybody else to say it is patriotic to backstab their mission is just flat wrong. And there is a lot of disrespect intended there to you too.
A bit later . . .
WOLF: I think it's very dangerous and un-American to resurrect this very dark history of smearing people who are asking hard questions.
With that, Wolf had given her rival a huge opening, and Morgan wasted no time in blasting through it.
MORGAN: Oh, that's interesting, because Senator Clinton is one of the very finest operators of the smear machine. She and her husband Bill during all the impeachment hearings and the 15 women who made allegations against him. They were the ones who were smeared. Please don't turn that on me.
The battle recommenced after a commercial break. Morgan repeated her support for the death penalty for those convicted of treason.
WOLF: In America, we do not execute people for their opinions, and that's the way the Founders set it up, and honestly Melanie you should go read the Constitution.

MORGAN: It's not "an opinion" when you publish top-secret information in your newspaper. That is endangering the lives of men and women on the battlefield in a time of war, and Naomi, you should know that.

WOLF: I certainly do know that, and I want you to really think long and hard about what kind of America you want to see where people are afraid to speak and call the government to account because there will be calls for the death penalty.

MORGAN: And I don't want to be lectured to by you, Naomi, because we have men and women right now in battle, and you should be appreciative and grateful and do everything you can to support that.

By the way, note Wolf's decolletage. Was that a show of cleavage solidarity with Hillary, or, to the contrary, some not-so-subtle two-upmanship?

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.