Washington Post's Marcus Claims Rice's False Benghazi Comments Were 'Basically Right'

In an attempt to dismiss Republican criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's misleading September 14 Sunday show statements about Benghazi, on Thursday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus asserted: "I don't think this is really about some comments that were basically right, that she made on Sunday talk shows." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Marcus was prompted to make the declaration after Mitchell tried to paint GOP critics as a combination of sexist and racist: "There have been issues raised as to whether she was being attacked, criticized because she's a woman, because she's African-American....is there a double standard here? Have we had others who've gone on Sunday television talk shows, made mistakes, and not been punished as severely as Susan Rice?"

Mitchell only briefly made note of one of the female Republican senators critical of Rice: "I asked Kelly Ayotte that yesterday, she said, no, that it was on the substance."

Marcus agreed with Mitchell's double standard premise and argued the criticism was a response to Rice's aggressive personality:

I think this is about a lot of other things, including a personality that even Susan Rice's friends say can be abrasive, sharp-elbowed. All sorts of things that I think it's easier for men to get away with, even men in diplomatic jobs, than for women....if you're a woman like Susan Rice, who is not necessarily in that kind of female nurturer collegial role, but you're more of a sort of elbows-out, tough player, I think you actually get dinged more than a man does with the same personality.


Here is a transcript of the November 29 exchange:

1:04PM ET

(...)

MITCHELL: And Ruth, there have been issues raised as to whether she was being attacked, criticized because she's a woman, because she's African-American, whether that, in fact, would make it harder for the Republicans to gang up on her if there were a real full-throated confirmation battle. I asked Kelly Ayotte that yesterday, she said, no, that it was on the substance. But is there a double standard here? Have we had others who've gone on Sunday television talk shows, made mistakes, and not been punished as severely as Susan Rice?

RUTH MARCUS [WASHINGTON POST]: I think there is a little bit of a double standard, not necessarily with the punishment for the talk shows, because I don't think this is really about some comments that were basically right, that she made on Sunday talk shows. I think this is about a lot of other things, including a personality that even Susan Rice's friends say can be abrasive, sharp-elbowed. All sorts of things that I think it's easier for men to get away with, even men in diplomatic jobs, than for women.

And I think women are in an odd role these days. The women in the Senate for example, and I'm going to be writing about this for a column in tomorrow's paper, the women in the Senate talk about how women are terrific at being collegial and getting things done and learning how to cooperate. Well, if you're a woman like Susan Rice, who is not necessarily in that kind of female nurturer collegial role, but you're more of a sort of elbows-out, tough player, I think you actually get dinged more than a man does with the same personality.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC