Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Acceptable and Unacceptable Misogyny

Kirsten Powers, who is, it must be noted at the outset, a liberal Democrat at The Daily Beast, puts Rush Limbaugh's recent gender gaucheries into perspective. When such transgressions against decency occur on the right they're considered to be crimes against women everywhere, and the offender is all but committed to the flames. When they occur on the left, which they do with alarming frequency, the somnolent media slumbers contentedly.

Here's the heart of Powers' fine essay:
Let it be shouted from the rooftops that Rush Limbaugh should not have called Ms. Fluke a slut or, as he added later, a “prostitute” who should post her sex tapes. It’s unlikely that his apology will assuage the people on a warpath for his scalp, and after all, why should it? He spent days attacking a woman as a slut and prostitute and refused to relent. Now because he doesn’t want to lose advertisers, he apologizes. What’s in order is something more like groveling—and of course a phone call to Ms. Fluke—if you ask me.

But if Limbaugh’s actions demand a boycott—and they do—then what about the army of swine on the left?

During the 2008 election Ed Schultz said on his radio show that Sarah Palin set off a “bimbo alert.” He called Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut.” (He later apologized.) He once even took to his blog to call yours truly a “bimbo” for the offense of quoting him accurately in a New York Post column.

Keith Olbermann has said that conservative commentator S.E. Cupp should have been aborted by her parents, apparently because he finds her having opinions offensive. He called Michelle Malkin a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick.” He found it newsworthy to discuss Carrie Prejean’s breasts on his MSNBC show. His solution for dealing with Hillary Clinton, who he thought should drop out of the presidential race, was to find “somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out.” Olbermann now works for ├╝ber-leftist and former Democratic vice president Al Gore at Current TV.

Chris Matthews’s sickening misogyny was made famous in 2008, when he obsessively tore down Hillary Clinton for standing between Barack Obama and the presidency, something that Matthews could not abide. Over the years he has referred to the former first lady, senator and presidential candidate and current secretary of state as a “she-devil,” “Nurse Ratched,” and “Madame Defarge.” Matthews has also called Clinton “witchy,” “anti-male,” and “uppity” and once claimed she won her Senate seat only because her “husband messed around.” He asked a guest if “being surrounded by women” makes “a case for commander in chief—or does it make a case against it?” At some point Matthews was shamed into sort of half apologizing to Clinton, but then just picked up again with his sexist ramblings.

Matthews has wondered aloud whether Sarah Palin is even “capable of thinking” and has called Bachmann a “balloon head” and said she was “lucky we still don’t have literacy tests out there.” Democratic strategist Jehmu Greene, who is the former president of the Women’s Media Center, told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in 2011 that Matthews “is a bully, and his favorite target is women.” So why does he still have a show? What if his favorite target was Jews? Or African-Americans?

But the grand pooh-bah of media misogyny is without a doubt Bill Maher—who also happens to be a favorite of liberals—who has given $1 million to President Obama’s super PAC.
Powers gives the specifics of Maher's comments as well as those of liberal commentator Matt Taibbi, but the remarks she quotes from them are too obscene to put on Viewpoint. It says something, I guess, when relatively modest standards of decency prevent one from quoting what some prominent liberals have said about women.

Nevertheless, just as a man who weighs 700 lbs. would do well to refrain from criticizing others for being fat, the left would do well to refrain from criticizing Rush Limbaugh for misogyny.

Here's an interview with Powers on her column:
It's worth noting that three of the men Powers talks about in the interview and in her column are current or former hosts on MSNBC's prime-time line up. That tells us a lot about MSNBC, I suppose.

It also says something that nine of Limbaugh's sponsors have dropped him, but none of Maher's or MSNBC's sponsors dropped any of these execrable gentlemen. Why not? Evidently some misogyny is acceptable and some is not. It all depends on your politics.