Bloomberg's Carlson Slams Christine O'Donnell as Brainless, But Gushed Over Primary Victories of Boxer and Feinstein in '92

In a zinger that roused the indignation of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson cast Christine O'Donnell as Sarah Palin's protege – but "with not a fully-functioning human brain." But in 1992, Carlson gushed over the primary victories of current Sens. Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein. Does she hold a double-standard?

Co-host Mika Brzezinski was taken aback when the panel had to discuss Carlson's piece for The Daily Beast, "Watch Your Back, Sarah." She silently mouthed the word "bitchy" to Carlson to describe the article, adding that it was "searing."

Carlson's piece focuses on the emergence of the Republican Delaware Senate nominee as the next Sarah Palin protege, predicting a political catfight of sorts between the two female GOP stars. Carlson labeled O'Donnell an "obvious knockoff" of Palin, "hawking her wares on the shores of the Delaware."

Appearing on "Morning Joe" Wednesday, Carlson sneered that O'Donnell lacks a "fully-functioning human brain."

Of course, there was a time when she smiled upon the emergence of female Senate candidates.

In 1992, Carlson hailed the primary victories of now California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, both Democrats and both liberal feminists. "There was a rush, an exultation that surpassed any political moment I have ever known – better even than Geraldine Ferraro's vice-presidential candidacy," she wrote.

Eighteen years later, it's conservative Republican women who are heating up the 2010 midterm season, and Carlson can't do enough to bash them at every turn.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on September 22 at 6:24 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Margaret wrote a searing piece on this woman called "Watch Your Back, Sarah." And I'm sorry, it's a little –

JOE SCARBOROUGH: A little harsh?

BRZEZINSKI: (Mouthing words) Bitchy.

A little – I'm sorry.

(...)

MARGARET: This is how we get in trouble.

BRZEZINSKI: I'm just saying – "rarr." (Imitating cat noise)

CARLSON: No, I was just suggesting that –

BRZEZINSKI: You more than suggest.

CARLSON: Christine O'Donnell is, you know, what the Republican Party's been heading to for a long time. It's – she's post-Sarah Palin. And she's got a fully –

SCARBOROUGH: (Laughing) Post-modernist.

(Crosstalk)

CARLSON: With not a fully-functioning human brain.

(Collective groan)

WILLIE GEIST: That's not fair.

BRZEZINSKI: You go below the belt.

CARLSON: This is where the elites will be getting out the e-mail now to me. But, you know, she's not, she's not ready for this. I think she's more fluent than Sarah Palin, in that what she says comes out better and you can parse it. But she's taken on – she's taken on – she's copying her act. I mean, already, you know, she's putting on the glasses. She doesn't need them except for cosmetic reasons.
 
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014