Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sexists on sexism

Ah, wonderful harp music is playing as my news media boycott continues. Speaking of...

How does a news network further undermine its credibility? By asking two punditheads who have made sexist remarks about Hillary Clinton to evaluate whether sexism has played a role in the presidential campaign. I kid you not! Who orchestrated the nonsense? MSNBC, of course!

During the May 22 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked MSNBC political analyst Mike Barnicle, "[D]o you think we'll be looking back on the coverage and on the conversations pertaining to [Sen.] Hillary Clinton's run for the White House and will sexism play a key role in what went wrong?" Barnicle responded: "No, I think the further we get from this election cycle, I think reality will play a much larger role in what has happened in this election than reality is playing a part now." Later, MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan stated: "[T]here's resistance to a woman being the nominee, but by and large, I think the fact that she's a woman has helped her here." But as Media Matters for America has noted, on the February 26 edition of Morning Joe, Buchanan made the admittedly "sexist" comment that when Clinton "raises her voice, and when a lot of women do, you know, it's -- as I say -- it reaches a point ... where every husband in America ... has heard at one time or another." Additionally, on the January 23 edition of the program, Barnicle had said of Clinton: "[W]hen she reacts the way she reacts to [Sen. Barack] Obama with just the look, the look toward him, looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court, OK? Looking at him that way, all I could think of ... was this fall, if it's [Sen. John] McCain that she's facing, McCain is likable. She's not."

After Buchanan criticized Clinton's voice on the February 26 Morning Joe, Brzezinski responded: "Oh, Pat, you're lucky you're not in the studio, I'm telling you." Buchanan said: "I know that's a sexist comment ... but there's truth to it! ... There's truth to it." He continued: "It's very difficult for women to reach those kinds of levels effectively, as it is to make them sort of a rally speech. They're not good at that." Brzezinski replied: "There is something so wrong with what you're saying, and what I fear is that the effect may be exactly what you're saying because of this double standard that people can't hear strength from a woman without using the B-word, and quite frankly, if that is what people are going to take away from this, it just seems to me as, well, everything that the Clinton campaign is arguing then." Buchanan had stated earlier: "[I]t's very tough for a woman. You see two men going back and forth at each other, you say, 'Boy, they're really going at it.' ... And you see two women or something, and say, 'Boy, what a catfight this is.' " During the April 23 edition of the show, Buchanan said of Clinton's speech following the Pennsylvania primary the day before: "[O]nly once or twice did that voice start rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard. You know, where it starts going up."

Barnicle made his January 23 comment during discussion of the January 21 Democratic presidential debate, among an all-male panel that included co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist, and correspondent David Shuster. [Emphasis added.]

They also talked as if Hillary is out of the race by refraining NBC Tim Russert's edict that Obama is the nominee and "no one’s going to dispute it." Bah!

Watch the Barnicle & Buchanan circus show in living color at Media Matters, a lot more including an noxious reference to President Billary.

Honestly, can news programming get any dumber and more clueless about its sexism?