Wash Post TV Critic: Rather Not Sexist Because Liberals Don’t Talk Like That
As the MRC’s Tim Graham noted earlier today, Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales provided conservatives with quite a laugh when he asserted in Wednesday’s edition of the paper that "even critics of Rather" would have to admit the man has firm "integrity." Appearing on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," he went even further. According to Shales, Rather’s comments about Katie Couric "tart[ing]" up the news couldn’t have been sexist, because "liberals, so called, don't go around calling women names like that."
Does the name Don Imus ring any bells? "Morning Joe," with host Joe Scarborough, even airs in the exact same time slot, on the same network. How quickly people forget.
Tom Shales has been a long-time defender of Rather and often rhapsodizes about how smart he is.
A transcript of the exchange, which aired at 7:17am on June 13, follows:
Joe Scarborough: "Obviously, your story this morning was about Dan Rather. You know, Dan came on this show and we really didn't think twice about what he was saying. I mean, he talked about the ‘Today' show ethos. He talked about dumbing down the news, but we didn't take that so much as a personal attack against Katie as we did against what Rome Hartman and some of the people over at CBS tried to do when she first came on. What's your take? Do you think– You talked to Dan yesterday. Dan apologetic? Does he think– Do you think he was out of line?"
Tom Shales: "No. I mean, the word tarting is what just– It's too bad he used it because now people can say, ‘Oh, he's a sexist. He was talking about Katie's gender.’ And he wouldn't be that dumb, I mean, or impolitic. He has been called for years, he's been called a liberal by the right-wing. So, liberals, so called, don't go around calling women names like that. It was just an unfortunate choice of adjectives. And it was a cute phrase. I am sure he thought, dumbing down, tarting up. But he is very sincere. I mean, I think he thinks that TV news is going downhill. And of course, it has been for about 50 years."