Is sexism strictly an American phenomenon? That’s what Whoopi Goldberg asked to former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers. Appearing on the April 22 edition of "The View" to promote her book "Why Women Should Rule the World," Whoopi, noting that there has never been a female president, framed her question in this fashion.
"Do you think that this issue, this, this idea that women can’t do the same things as men is strictly an American idea or is this a worldwide idea? Because I look at other countries that have women that have run their countries that have women prime ministers and such. So are we just lagging behind a little bit?"
No Whoopi. In fact, in many countries, sexism is far worse. In many Islamic states, a show with four or five women voicing their opinions would not be allowed. "The Daily Telegraph," for example, reported that women in Saudi Arabia have fewer rights than infants in the United States.
When's the last time you heard the MSM talk about a Republican being hit by the "Democrat attack machine"? Scratch that. Have you ever heard the MSM talk about a Republican being hit by the "Democrat attack machine"? Neither have I. But fretting about impending Republican "swiftboating" of the Dem presidential candidate is an MSM staple, and we saw a good example of it this morning, right down to an image of John Kerry in uniform.
Oh, and Hillary Clinton sees herself as a modern-day Ginger Rogers.
Ann Curry had a chance to interview both Dem candidates recently, and Today ran an extended clip during this morning's first half-hour, the two interviews being artfully edited into a back-and-forth. Overall, I'd say Curry gave Hillary the tougher time, but be that as it may, let's focus on two snippets. First, Curry fretting to Obama about those mean Republicans. Check out the screencap. Kerry in uniform, decorations on display. Beneath, the graphic ominously asks: "Can Obama Handle Republican Attacks?" Again I ask: have you ever, EVER, seen the mirror-image graphic in the MSM?
Cindy Brunson's report on Lorena Ochoa's winning streak wasn't a mere double-bogey. Think of it as a shank into the lake, or better yet, that most inept stroke of all: a total whiff. Apparently desperate for a feminist angle on Ochoa's success, the ESPN News anchor decided to drag Title IX and the ERA into her account.
Ochoa's victory at the Ginn Open was her fourth LPGA win in a row. Here's how Brunson reported it during the 5 AM ET edition of ESPN News:
CINDY BRUNSON: It's been 45 years since we've seen someone on the LPGA Tour win four straight tournaments in as many weeks. Back when Mickey Wright pulled off the winning quartet in 1963, both Title IX and the Equal Rights Amendment were still ideas, not laws. And to world's #1 Lorena Ochoa, admittedly feeling fatigued after winning in her native Mexico last week, but poised to rewrite the record books in Tigeresque fashion Sunday.
If you don’t support abortion on demand, you’re against women’s rights. That’s according to "The View’s" Joy Behar. Debating how closely aligned John McCain’s policies are with the Bush administration, it led to a mention of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. [Audio available here.]
BEHAR: I said to [McCain] off the camera, I said to him "listen how can you be against Roe v. Wade? You can not turn on women like that."
HASSELBECK: Why is that turning on women?
BEHAR: Because it’s against women and you know it.
Pope Benedict XVI hasn’t even arrived in the United States, and mainstream media outlets are featuring feminist Catholic dissenters in their reporting of the upcoming papal visit. In one such example, the Voice of America, the "international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government," decided to cover a former Catholic nun who has been "ordained" as a priest. As the report by Jeff Swicord stated, "Bridget Mary Meehan is one of 24 Roman Catholic women in the United States conducting mass [sic] in defiance of church doctrine... In July 2006, a woman bishop not recognized by the Vatican ordained Meehan with seven other women."
Swicord also featured in his report Father Arne Panula, "a member of Opus Dei, a conservative Catholic organization." On the one hand, Swicord and the Voice of America identify Father Panula as being part of a "conservative Catholic organization," but doesn’t identify Meehan and the "Roman Catholic Womenpriests" as not only supporting the ordination of women, but also active homosexuality and contraception.
Last Thursday's New York Times carried an amusing story of a left-wing catfight. Kara Jesella reported that in Portland, Oregon, an entrepreneur has tried to combine strippers and vegans (the most extreme ahem, denomination of vegetarianism, with no eggs, milk, or animal products). But feminists are outraged that women would be objectified while the entrepreneur evangelizes the vegan gospel on behalf of cows and chickens:
Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a cookbook author, is among those who believe such images twist the vegan message. “As a feminist, I’m not keen on the idea of using women’s bodies to sell veganism, and I’m not into the idea of using veganism to sell women’s bodies,” she said...
The issue of sexism in vegan circles is “extremely polarizing,” said Bob Torres, an author of “Vegan Freak,” a guide to living a vegan lifestyle, which generally means avoiding the use of animals for food, clothing or other purposes. Mr. Torres, like many vegans, disavows the “essential idea at the heart of some animal rights activism that any means justifies the ends,” he said. Certain activists, he added, care only about “animal suffering and ignore the suffering of humans,” a category into which he would put women who are exploited.
The left and the media love to hyperventilate about the right wing “hate speech” on the Internet, but the anger and vitriol of the left dwarfs that of the right, especially where female or minority bloggers are concerned. Hateful comments are not uncommon at lefty blogs like Daily Kos. That kind of hostility forces the Huffington Post to occassionally close comments on articles involving certain topics like Israel, the military or even Margaret Thatcher.
Pictures of them are photoshopped into violent or sexually explicit positions, and they are stalked, online and occasionally offline. Liberals track down their addresses and phone numbers and leave obscene messages, even threaten rape. Moderate blogger Ann Althouse nailed the root of the hostility, “...people on the Left think you are evil if you don't agree with them, that you're actually a bad person” (all bold mine).
Far be it from NB to suggest any correlation between liberal political orientation and a propensity for prostitution. But in the wake of the Spitzer scandal, the New York Times has run an article profiling three call girls, and we couldn't help but look for telltale signs of their politics. There were no particular hints regarding one of the ladies. But as for the other two . . . well, let's say it's unlikely they'll be turning up anytime soon as contributing editors at NewsBusters.
Ava Xi’an is the apparently apolitical pro. She claims to have gotten into the business to pay for a heart bypass operation for her father . . . who doesn't have health insurance. Bush made her do it, you might say.
As for the other two, Sally Anderson is "an unapologetic feminist" who was "raised in a fancy New Jersey suburb with what she described as 'very progressive parents.'” Oh, and she's planning to leave the profession "to study social work in graduate school." I'd say that wraps it up.
How's this for a balanced Today panel to discuss the impact of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's extremism on Barack Obama: two liberals who agree it shouldn't hurt him, with one suggesting the situation might even help Obama?
The panel discussion was preceded by a segment narrated by Lee Cowan, the NBC correspondent covering the Obama campaign who has admitted "it's almost hard to remain objective" about Barack. Cowan buttressed his case in that regard. After playing the clip of Rev. Wright using the n-word to make an invidious comparison between Obama and Hillary, Cowan claimed the words were "old." True--if Cowan considers December, 2007, when Wright uttered them--ancient history.
Then it was on weekend co-anchor Amy Robach's interview of Michael Dyson and Melinda Hennenberger. Dyson, who as Robach noted is an Obama supporter, is a Georgetown professor and MSNBC political analyst. He has in the past garnered headlines for his fierce criticism of Bill Cosby, claiming among other things that Cosby "battered poor blacks" with his calls for self-reliance.
In a revealing moment of MSM elitism, WaPo editorialist Ruth Marcus, discussing the decision of Silda Wall Spitzer to appear with her husband Eliot yesterday, wanted people to know Mrs. Spitzer is a Harvard law grad and a "serious" person, not a Tammy Wynette type.
Marcus was interviewed by Contessa Brewer on MSNBC this afternoon, and the pair turned to the question of why political wives tend to appear with their husbands who have been caught up in sex scandals.
RUTH MARCUS: I just don't think that we should also lump all these women together. And to use a line that got Hillary Clinton in some trouble back in the 1992 presidential campaign, Eliot Spitzer's wife is not some Tammy Wynette, stand-by-your-man kind of woman.
Anti-male sexism once again became a topic on the March 11 edition of "The View." Discussing New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal, Joy Behar, who called men "idiots" who "think with Mr. Happy," shouted "I am sick of men and their sexual proclivities." Sherri Shepherd quickly responded "don’t put it on men." Elisabeth Hasselbeck noted the prostitute was a woman and "there are two people to blame there, two people that tangoed here." Later in the conversation Behar claimed "I don’t hate men. I hate politicians."
Behar also added "it seems as though power and sex go together with men." She also said she "would like to see a scandal where a woman is getting great sex." Whoopi Goldberg then inquired what kind of reaction would ensue if a female politician was caught with a male prostitute. Behar theorized that "they’d burn her at the stake."
The relevant portions of the conversation are below.
Newsweek magazine recently celebrated the latest trend in elite Northeastern colleges: sex magazines, complete with highbrow titles -- like "Boink." In applauding the shifting sexual mores of American youth, reporter Jennie Yabroff noted that these enterprising students "no longer see a distinction between their bedroom behavior and their publishing activities," and consider their sex-magazine careers in college to be building blocks for the business world.
"I continually tell my mom this is a great résumé builder," says Alecia Oleyourryk of her career publishing "Boink" magazine at Boston University. Newsweek now needs a sociologist to affirm the wisdom of these "young sexperts." Cue Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington. "Maybe their generation will take this a lot less seriously than we do," she says.
Here at NB, we're not normally in the business of feeling sorry for MSMers like Harry Smith. But I can't help but express some sympathy for the Early Show anchor at the prospect of the feminist, Clintonite wrath that is likely to descend on his head after a comment he made this morning
Among the metaphors most likely to drive feminists up the wall is that of the angry woman yielding that symbol of domestic serfdom, the frying pan. But in discussing the prospect of Hillary's anger at Bill for his responsibility for her possibly impending defeat, Smith invoked . . . you guessed it. Harry was coffee klatsching with Dem consultant Joe Trippi and pollster Frank Luntz this morning, and it was the latter who first described Bill as a drag on Hillary's campaign. The issue was whether Clinton could stay in the race if she splits the Texas and Ohio primaries tomorrow.
JOE TRIPPI: I don't think she should get out if she wins Ohio and loses Texas but I think there will be pressure there.
FRANK LUNTZ: It didn't help her that her husband said that she's got to win both.
HARRY SMITH: Right.
LUNTZ: Bill has been -- I feel sorry for him the night, if she does pull out, he should not be at the home in Chappaqua.
That's when a chuckling Smith put his foot in it, even providing the sound effects.
The worm has certainly turned when Bill Clinton's former press secretary goes on a local TV show, calls Hillary a b---- in so many words . . . and a national news show then chooses to air the footage. It happened on today's Good Morning America in the course of a conversation that co-anchor Robin Roberts conducted with Cokie Roberts and Matt Dowd.
ROBIN ROBERTS: Many are wondering how far she can go in attacking Barack Obama. Even President Clinton's former press secretary Dee Dee Myers made a comment about it being harder for a woman to walk that fine line. This is what she said.
Cut to clip of Myers in a recent appearance on NY1, the NYC cable news channel.
DEE DEE MYERS: I think so many women in positions of authority -- and she's certainly one of them -- have to walk that fine line between being authoratative and being a bitch [worded bleeped during GMA airing]. And she you know, she hasn't always succeeded. I think it's hard for a woman to succeed.
Besides her left wing activism, famous North Vietnamese propagandist Jane Fonda spouts foul language on morning network television, when some children almost certainly saw it. Discussing the feminist play "The Vagina Monologues" on the February 14 edition of "Today," Fonda used the obscene term to describe part of the female anatomy.
Although it is only February, this is the second time this year that a celebrity used an obscene word on morning television. On the January 15 edition of "Good Morning America," Diane Keaton dropped the F-word. Unlike host Diane Sawyer, Meredith Vieira did not appear shocked.
MRC President Brent Bozell previously expressed concern about networks airing foul language and some networks’ stubborness.
Editors at CosmoGirlwould do well to remember that when they point at somebody else, three fingers are pointing back at them.
The popular teen magazinetackled the question "What is Sexy?" in the March 2008 issue, bemoaning the increased amount of sexual imagery being thrown at young girls but failing to acknowledge its own contribution to the problem.
Writer Marina Khidekel pointed out that girls are exposed to sexual imagery at younger ages than ever before, citing the popular Bratz dolls and the fact that "stores such as Limited Too sell lingerie like push-up bras and skimpy low-rise underwear for pre-teens."
Khidekel also rightly lamented that TV shows "with smart female lead characters (like "Gilmore Girls" and "Veronica Mars")are being cancelled, while shows that survive (like "America's Top Model" and "The Hills") focus mainly on girls' appearance and hookups." When girls are bombarded with the message that appearance is the only thing that matters, Khidekel notes, they start to feel that it's their "sexual power - not [their] talent, brains or ambition - that counts most."
Really, it's not sexual power that counts the most? Because that's the opposite message portrayed by the rest of the issue.
ABC anchor David Muir asked Barack Obama about some of his liberal positions in a pre-recorded interview, which was shown on World News Saturday, in which Muir asked about the Democratic Senator's support for drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, and about being endorsed by "liberal legend" Ted Kennedy and MoveOn.org. The ABC anchor also brought up the New York Times' evaluation of Obama's economic policies as being "more left than the Clinton administration's." Muir: "Does that offer red meat for the Republicans, that you could possibly be more left than Hillary Clinton?" (Transcript follows)
In Friday's New York Times, reporter Susan Dominus describes division in the feminist movement over who to support in the Democratic presidential primaries. Dominus describes two types: the hip, young, flirty feminist who's uncommitted, exemplified by Jessica Valenti, the founder of the blog Feministing (the one with headlines like "What's your butt's ethnicity?"); and the dour, old-school feminist who says support Hillary or you're sexist, exemplified by Marcia Pappas, the president of the New York chapter of NOW.
It's an interesting piece, written with obvious sympathy for feminism, and the newspaper's sympathy extends to covering up Jessica Valenti's other blog venture: she's paid by NARAL Pro-Choice America to run its "Bush v. Choice" blog (see that "About Jessica" link?). The closest the Times comes to exploring what pays Valenti's bills is this sentence:
People who oppose Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations do so primarily out of sexism. That's at least how "The View" co-host Joy Behar sees it.
Discussing NOW’s attack on Senator Kennedy for supporting Obama over Clinton on today's show, Behar implied anti-Clinton forces are after her because she’s a woman.
"They’re piling up on Hillary from every, every corner, including Maureen Dowd, women are against her in many, many ways. And you have to say to yourself why is she at the mercy of so much more scrutiny than others? And the hatred that’s coming towards her. Think about it ladies. That’s all I’m saying."
Teenagers who tumble from the bed to a sudden pregnancy often face this reaction from the people surrounding them: These poor kids made a mistake, yes. But they don’t have the maturity to bring a life into the world. It would ruin their lives, and they would probably be irresponsible and resentful parents. Admitting their immaturity and having an abortion is the truly mature choice.
That might sound like a formulaic TV movie of the week. But then comes “Juno,” the quirky, arty film with a completely different take – and it’s taking the movie world by storm.
Ten years after the Lewinsky scandal broke, Barbara Walters is still acting as a spokeswoman for Bill Clinton’s former mistress. On the January 21 episode, Walters scolded fellow "View" panelist Joy Behar for incorporating Monica Lewinsky jokes into her comic routine, opining "I don’t think one should joke about it."
The veteran journalist, who landed the first interview with Lewinsky, hyped her recent master’s degree and claimed she is having difficulties finding a job. Elisabeth Hasselbeck felt "that’s what happens when you make decisions like that, that affect your future." Whoopi Goldberg ended the segment adding that women should support Lewinsky because she’s a woman. After the commercial break, Hasselbeck replied that she thinks " about supporting the person, you know, and taking gender out of it."
See update at bottom: Scarborough nails Shuster on Huck/Obama double-standard.
If a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, does Mike Huckabee's sweet way with a word make tolerable views that would be rejected as extreme in the mouths of others less verbally gifted?
That's Willie Geist's view of the matter. The genius of the Morning Joe panelist normally resides in his ability to avoid the controversial while remaining interesting. But the anodyne-if-endearing Geist went out of character in today's opening segment on the subject of Mike Huckabee. And he did so in a manner the former Baptist preacher might not find so fetching.
The subject was a speech Huckabee gave yesterday in which he advocated changing the Constitution to adapt to the word of God.
David Crary of the Associated Press, in an article asking if sexism or racism is more "taboo" in the context of the recent war of words between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, concluded that "both are alive and well." It appears, though, judging by the use of quotes from feminists including Gloria Steinem and Kim Gandy, it seems that Crary is taking the apparent sexism against Hillary Clinton more seriously.
The first half of Crary’s article focused on the sexism component of the discussion. Crary quoted Steinem’s claim in a recent New York Times article that "gender is 'probably the most restricting force in American life' — more so than race." He then quotes Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich, who "suggested there was little point in ranking them," and NOW president Kim Gandy, who is of the view that while racism may be "somewhat coded," there’s still "an awful lot of explicit sexist stuff."
Crary then spent six paragraphs on criticism of Hillary Clinton that has apparent sexist overtones.
Time magazine’s package of campaign news this week comes with a commentary from liberal writer Dahlia Lithwick (usually read at the Slate website). The headline was “The Tracks of Her Tears: When Hillary (nearly) wept, women voters saw not just be femininity but also her humanity.” Dahlia saw Hillary mist over in New Hampshire, and what soon followed was resentment at anyone who saw calculation or manipulation when “she finally lowered her cast-iron shield” and grew emotional:
But the gender card resonated, mostly because it turned the men around Clinton into brutes. Whether it was Obama's sounding a rare sour note by assuring the candidate she was "likable enough" or John Edwards' implying that her Portsmouth tears rendered Clinton somehow unfit for the "tough business" of governance, every woman who's ever been asked whether it's that time of the month must have felt some kinship. (Italics hers.)
Did Hillary’s misty talk of how much she loved America and wanted to reverse the Bush administration help her win in New Hampshire? NPR’s All Things Considered on Wednesday night went looking for women voters who were moved. Co-anchor Melissa Block interviewed three Hillary voters in Manchester: "Do you think that the polls underestimated women here?" One said: "I think they really, really did.
According to CosmoGirl magazine, it means perpetuating the myths that women cannot think for themselves, that they are simply victims, and that women who stay home to raise their children are "playing Russian roulette with their future."
Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake, believes "feminism is suffering from a major image crisis." Her column in the current issue of CosmoGirl tries to rally young women back to the feminist movement.
CosmoGirl, the little sister of the raunchy Cosmopolitan magazine, reportedly reaches 1.35 million readers. Its target audience is 16- to 20-year-old young women.
Bennetts is appalled that many of today's young women prefer the mommy track to the corporate ladder: "Instead of continuing to fight for equality and their own careers, many want to stay home and raise kids. In fact, a 2005 survey of female students at Yale University found that the majority planned to give up their careers and stay home after they had kids."
Nobody would expect a balanced piece from someone who refers to a woman's choice to stay home and focus on her family as a "mistake," but the article should have been better argued. It's full of tired, easily debunked claims.
For example, Bennetts cites Jacquelyn White, a gender psychology professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who says, "Many girls today don't know there are still barriers for women; for instance, we only make 75 cents to the man's dollar."
During an interview on Wednesday morning with the Democratic victor in the New Hampshire primary, CNN’s Kiran Chetry asked Hillary Clinton if there was a hint of sexism in the response to the senator’s apparent show of emotion in the lead-up to the vote. "Do you think it's a double standard or a little harder because you're a woman to show you're a strong leader, but also be able to show some of your human side?"
In addition to this emotion/gender issue, Chetry, like her co-host John Roberts had done two days earlier, questioned Hillary about the Iraq war, specifically about the success of the troop surge. "You opposed the troop increase when the president proposed it, even introduced legislation to try to reverse it. Since then though, the attacks have fallen by 60% and a lot of the observers say that the surge is working. Do you acknowledge that the surge is working now?"
Clinton acknowledged the recent downturn in violence, but then went on to claim that "that was not the purpose of the surge. The purpose of the surge was to try to convince the Iraqi government to make the tough decisions that, so far, it has not made. So, I don't believe that that is a real justification, and we've had such a terrible year in the loss of American lives."
Writing on Newsweek's Web site, Jonathan Alter offers up three "pop psych theories" as to why Hillary Clinton won in New Hampshire when the media establishment (Alter included) unanimously predicted an Obama victory. To Alter, the mystery is why women voters flocked to Hillary in such large numbers, and his theories range from the patronizing (discounting her First Lady "experience" as irrelevent supposedly "reminded many women of how their own contributions at home have been under-appreciated") to the absurd ("as in any high-school election, the studious girls who show up to vote might harbor a few resentments about the boys").
And Alter makes no effort to square his theories about superficial women voters being moved by esoteric personality issues with the never-ending media mantra about New Hampshire voters being the most sophisticated and probing in the nation (which is why we must take their judgements so seriously). Yet their choice for President supposedly came down to thousands of beleaguered Democratic women who projected their problems in life onto a crying Hillary?
See Bonus Coverage at foot: "Clinton campaign spent 24 hours slicing and dicing each other."
Could the great irony be that the strong woman won because . . . people felt sorry for her? That's not just some right-wing media critic talking. It's a view emerging from left-wing circles. Apparently the libs are angry that the MSM was too biased towards Obama, so much so that it drove people to Hillary out of spite or sympathy.
Take the comments of Air America host Rachel Maddow during last night's MSNBC election coverage, in a remarkable exchange with Pat Buchanan and Chris Matthews. Who has been singled out for blame by the lefty blogosphere? None other than Matthews himself, who regularly waxed euphoric about Obama, going so far as to claim a week ago that an Obama victory in Iowa would bethe greatest story of the century.