Liberal Radio Hosts Mock Mrs. Romney's Pricey Shirt, Even (Wrongly) Suggest Mrs. Obama's Different

Liberal radio hosts obviously feel Ann Romney is a big fat target of mockery. When it was revealed a shirt she wore on CBS This Morning retails for $990, they pounced. Bill Press even insisted Mrs. Romney should be more like Michelle Obama – which doesn’t match the fashion facts from Hawaii last Christmas.

On the Stephanie Miller show, one regular guest, gay activist Karl Frisch, brought out the anti-Mormon wisecracks: “If a T-shirt is a thousand dollars where Ann Romney shops, how much is the magic underwear?” Miller laughed, and her sidekick Chris Lavoie added, “There you go!”  Randi Rhodes just exploded:

RHODES: I thought it was fish - and I thought maybe she was communicating some sort of a Jesus message. I didn't know - I thought it was fish, like a big uh koi or something. Didn't you think it was koi?

SEAN (board operator)”  Exactly!

RANDI: Yes! They claim it was not koi at all; it was birds, its bird heads, and bird face....So anyway she's wearing this thing with the koi on it, right, it's supposed to be, you know, a nod to the Chinese, Japanese, I have no idea. Anyway, turns out this T-shirt cost - hang on - $990 for a freakin' top!

Minutes later, Rhodes added the masses would not approve: “Women who are buying the Hanes 3-pack and sending it back have more principles than Mitt Romney and his wife, who, by the way, is wearing a $990 T-shirt while claiming - while claiming she's a stay-at-home mom and made the sacrifice to do it!”

On his show, Bill Press wasn't buying Mrs. Romney's assertion that her husband Mitt was a wild and crazy guy. "He looks to me like one of those heads on Easter Island and has just about as much life in it."  This, from a man who wrote a book called "The Obama Hate Machine."  He was just getting started. He turned to the wife's shirt:

PRESS: By a designer Reed Krakoff, has a store on Madison Avenue. I guess a high-faluting store and some enterprising reporter went out and priced Ann Romney’s t-shirt -- 990 dollars.

DAN HENNING, sidekick: That’s not a cheap shirt.

PRESS: She really wants to give the impression that we’re just hanging out. I’m just wearing a T-shirt telling you how wild and crazy my husband is. A 900 dollar freaking t-shirt!

Later, one of Press's guests, former Roll Call reporter Julie Mason, insisted wives were "totally fair game," "in bounds" for a good whacking:

JULIE MASON: I don’t think Ann Romney’s off limits. If she’s going to be campaigning and giving policy speeches and getting involved in our elections, I think she’s totally fair game. I think kids are off limits. But I think spouses are inbounds.

BILL BURTON, former Obama spokesman: Even adult children?

MASON: If they get involved in the campaign, yeah.

BURTON: Julie Mason’s rules of politics.

MASON: Absolutely.

PRESS: Why can’t she (Ann Romney) be like Me-shell? Why can’t she buy J Crew, wear J Crew, right? What the hell!

Press's argument that Michelle Obama wears cheaper duds is rebutted by Luchina Fisher of ABC News, from a vacation dispatch dated December 29, 2011:

The Obamas have been drawing heat for their 17-day Hawaiian holiday, estimated by some media outlets to cost taxpayers $4 million.

But the criticism doesn't stop there. Now first lady Michelle Obama is under scrutiny for her high-end fashion choices.

For the Christmas Day church service at the Kaneohe Bay Marine Base, Mrs. Obama was photographed in a seemingly simple white sundress with red and yellow stripes. The dress, however, was by French-born, U.S.-based designer Sophie Theallet, and would have cost the first lady almost $2,000 when she bought it in 2009. More recent designs by Theallet sell for even more.

For the meet-and-greet with service members and their families in a nearby mess hall later in the day, Mrs. Obama dressed down - in a printed green $950 Comme des Garcons skirt with bag waist.

Some see the first lady's penchant for expensive labels at odds with her reputation as a bargain shopper who frequents J. Crew and Target.

One comment on the Naked DC website read: "She claims to be a champion of the poor and a fellow bargain shopper, but yet, here she is, sporting a dress that no unemployed American can afford."

CORRECTION: Due to an auto-correction or a brain-fart, the original blog misquoted Press describing the Reed Krakoff boutique as "high-flatulent" when it should have been "high-faluting."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis