Barnicle: 'Hillary Like First Wife Outside Probate Court' Taken 'Out of Context'

Q. What's weaker than playing the "taken out of context" card?

A. Digging yourself deeper with the supposedly exculpatory explanation.

Mike Barnicle managed the Daily Double today with his mishandling of the flap over the way he described Hillary back in January. Barnicle was on Morning Joe, and discussion turned to a New York Times article, Media Charged With Sexism in Clinton Coverage, that mentioned his remarks.

View video here.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: The article, Barnicle --

MIKE BARNICLE: Yeah?

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah. It talks about whether there should be a national conversation about sexism, and refers to something you said --

BARNICLE: Yeah.

BRZEZINSKI: Um, "Mrs. Clinton was looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court." I remember that. You said that to us.
BARNICLE: You can take anything--listen, I said it. You can't take anything out of con--you can take anything out of context and make it sound the way you want it to sound.

BRZEZINSKI [offering Barnicle the rope with which to hang himself]: Put it back in context.

BARNICLE: [Assortment of hesitant sounds] Put it back into? This was played, I said that after a particular clip of Senator Clinton on the campaign trail, very early in the campaign. When, clearly, from every bit of evidence gathered early in the campaign, she was sometimes shrieking, rather than speaking.
BRZEZINSKI: Right.

BARNICLE: And I said, she sounds like every guy's first wife standing outside probate court, in that particular clip. OK, fine, I said it--

BRZEZINSKI: I remember, it got a good --

BARNICLE: You can blog me to death on it.

And indeed, the left wing blogs did have a field day, as reflected in the search results for "Barnicle Hillary first wife."

But back to Barnicle's claim that his remark was "taken out of context." See, it wasn't meant an insult at all. It's just that, uh, Hillary was "shrieking" rather than speaking. Well, that certainly clears it up. Come on, it was virtually a compliment! No wonder Mike Barnicle's so touchy about those "nitwit" bloggers who think they're real members of the media. Who do they think they are: Mike Barnicle?

By the way, not sure why Barnicle thought it was exculpatory to claim that his comment came "very early in the campaign." But just how early was it? He made the remark more than a year after Hillary entered the race with that chatty video on the comfy couch.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.