Bob Somerby watches MSNBC so you don't have to!

That Keith Olbermann–what a classy, classy guy.  Will someone please explain to me how incredibly “progressive” this is?

Be sure to read the actual words the corporate hireling said: “Our number-one story: Miss California now being accused of using performance-enhancers.” (To watch the whole segment, click this.)

As many readers already know, this whole thing started when [Carrie] Prejean was asked to state her view on same-sex marriage. She stated a view slightly to the left of Barack Obama’s (and Al Gore’s, and Hillary Clinton’s). She therefore had to be trashed on the progressive TV shows which endlessly kiss that president’s keister. Thereby attracting the demo, of course, which these programs exist to stalk.

Ha-ha!  Millionaires with poor news judgment using their platforms to mock a relatively unimportant person because she’s a young woman with breast implants.  (How exotic in California, especially for someone who competes in beauty pageants!)  Now this cutting-edge journalism:  calling a beauty queen “dumb and twisted,” “a human Klaus Barbie Doll,” a “ding-dong,” and “not just a boob, but a fake boob.”  Somerby continues: 

The segment had been our “guilty pleasure,” KeithO told us progressives. And then, he threw to Rachel Maddow, as he does every night at this time.

As readers may know, we’re not real high on Maddow’s work to this point. We think she tends to be under-prepared (and over-extended). We think she isn’t real sharp on domestic affairs; we think she’s made a few very poor judgments. That said, it was a remarkable pie in the face when Olbermann staged this segment of locker-room clowning about boobs and breasts, then threw directly to Maddow. Elsewhere, gentlemen of Olbermann’s type get sued for such wonderful workplace humor. But as has occurred since the dawn of time, Maddow was forced to take his pie right in the kisser last night, although we thought she may have seemed a bit offended as the hand-off occurred. (Tape of the opening isn’t available at the Maddow Show site.)

maddowclownDon’t worry, Bob–our girl knows that making fun of women because they’re women is what’s required on MSogyNyBC.  Olbermann knows that the his target Dem audience is only “progressive” until it comes to, you know, the (female) majority of the party.  Do Dem women watch this crap and giggle along, thinking that they’re somehow unmockable?  (Just try running for school board, baby!)  Do they think this kind of treatment is reserved only for beauty queens and Hillary Clinton, and isn’t about them too?  (If you’re really in the mood for a blast of stupid, head on over to Bob’s archives to gaze in slack-jawed amazement at MSNBC’s coverage of the “tea parties” two weeks ago, and read all about how Olbermann and our Rhodes Scholar anchorwoman giggled about d!ck jokes all week long.)

Super, super classy!

0 thoughts on “Bob Somerby watches MSNBC so you don't have to!

  1. Thank you for this. I was beginning to think I was the only feminist who ojected to the sexist hateful crap about “tea bagging” and Carrie Prejean. And I am a definite minority in the lesbian community when I don’t fall all over myself about how sexy and wonderful Rachel Maddow is.


  2. Emma–I was appalled at the spectacle of our only out gay anchorwoman giggling her way through jokes about a sex act associated with gays. (At least, that’s the only context I’m familiar with–others may disagree. I just remember the hillarious scenes in John Waters’ “Pecker” in which the barkeep at the gay bar kept yelling, “no teabagging!”)


  3. It’s also true that no person involved in the “tea parties” used the term “tea bagging”. That’s a term the “lefties” used to make fun of them. So the idea that those running or participating in the tea parties were showing their sexual ignorance or uptightness or stupidity by blithely using the term “tea bagging” is utterly false. And my tolerance for lying by the media is at an all-time low after what was done to HRC during the Dem primaries by people who should have known better, including Rachel Maddow.

    In the vein of knowing better, I think Rachel Maddow should be careful about who she throws sexual stones at given what could be said about her current relationship with a 15 years older, less attractive woman who Maddow met when she was hired to do yard work for her.

    Yes, I’m being b*tchy about the whole thing, but I think Maddow, for all her liberal cred, has a couple of very large blind spots.


  4. Agreed, and good point on how it was potty mouth so-called libs that came up with the “tea bagger” jokes. I think Maddow is smart and could be good–it’s just discouraging to see her take the easy way out and join the boys’ club with its competitive towel-snapping misogyfest.

    Then again, there’s a reason that Maureen Dowd is one of the two pet women columnists at the NYT, and Katha Pollitt and Patricia Williams are not. I think the price women pay for that kind of platform is that they can’t be feminists any longer (if they ever were–I have my doubts about Dowd.) What’s the reason that Ana Marie Cox gets major screen time at MSNBC, while Dahlia Lithwick does not? Hmmmm…..


  5. To clarify my point about Maddow throwing stones: given the potential for p*rnification of her own relationship, Maddow would be well advised to think twice about publicly p*rnifying anybody else.

    I don’t think p*rnifying anybody (or anybody’s relationship is a good idea). And I think Maddow would be well advised of two maxims:

    1) People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones; and

    2) The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.

    But, since Maddow seems intent on living in the master’s house, the first is probably more apropos.


  6. And since I’m a dyke I’m well aware of what it’s like to have my sexuality and my relationships p*rnified. Anyone who is gay or lesbian perforce lives in a glass house re: using p*rnification as a weapon. I try my best not to use that as a weapon against others because that legitimizes its use against me and mine. Maddow, a Rhodes scholar, is certainly bright enough to get that at the very least.


  7. Why is Maddow or anyone else in a glass house because of a same-sex relationship? The metaphor doesn’t work. I think the point is that perhaps since she is the potential target of attacks based on her sexuality, then she should be more sensitive to attacking others???

    And not to pick on Emma, but I’m not sure that what Maddow is doing and someone else’s potential response to a lesbian relationship can both be classified as pornification. Again, I raise this as an opportunity for further discussion and not to flame Emma.


  8. The glass house is not the lesbian/gay relationship or sexuality per se. The glass house is using p*rnification as a weapon to discredit people and/or their politics. Gay/lesbian relationships and gays/lesbians are much more vulnerable to that type of weapon and it will always be used more effectively against us than against the people Maddow used it against. Further, Maddow, because of the nature of her relationship in particular, is specifically more vulnerable to that weapon.

    Maddow may not care. It may not be on her radar. She may have thought about that and dismissed it. She may feel she acted appropriately re: “tea bagging” and that people using it against her wouldn’t be acting appropriately so she would be justified in calling them out without ever questioning her own behavior. Or she may feel that the argument I’ve made is homophobic because it gives in to the hostility toward gays/lesbian in this society.

    And all those arguments may be right and I may be wrong. But I don’t believe I am. I sincerely believe that Audre Lorde is right: the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house and p*rnification is the masters’ tool. And I’m not going to ratify that tools so that it can be used against me with a patina of legitimacy because “she did it too!”

    Moreover, the cause in which Maddow was using this tool is not worth the dangers created by Maddow in using it. Was there some more noble, wonderful purpose or goal she was pursuing? Hardly. Her T.V. ratings and her status as the hippest, coolest, most guy friendly lesbian/woman on T.V. is simply not something worth what she had done to attain that goal and continues to do to maintain it.

    As for “discrediting” the tea parties, I’m pretty sure their lack of credibility was built right in and there was no need to pull out this particular tool to make them look as politically foolish as they were.



  9. Re: “who started with the ‘tea-bagging’ label?”

    Taking no position on the appropriateness, or lack thereof, of lefty jokes about tea-bagging, it isn’t true that they were the sole originators of the label. For example: (picture of a protest sign, posted 2/27/09) (Fox News clip from 3/18/09) (daily conservative comic, uses the baggin’ joke on 3/21/09) [this is actually where I first saw/heard it, fwiw]

    Yes, liberals ran with the meme with gleeful abandon, far outweighing its usage on the right. Critique away on that. But the right is not innocent in the matter.


  10. Eeewww.

    Mark, thanks for the additional info. I was unaware of people from the right referring to “tea-bagging”–most of the people on the right who were publicizing the events called them (very primly) “tea parties.” But, you point to some exceptions. IMHO, people on whatever side who used that term should get their mouths washed out with soap.

    What is it, every 10 years American political culture becomes d!ck-obssessed? Yuk.


  11. Every 10 years, Historiann? Did you miss the discussion of George Bush in the flight suit in 2003, when G. Gordon Liddy spoke about how it accentuated his “manly characteristic”? Hearing him discuss this with Chris Matthews was, well….special.


  12. Oh–of course! That was a very special moment, May 1, 2003, wasn’t it? That was a weird moment in time, when we were being asked to admire the package of the president, and to see his Sec Def as a paragon of American masculinity because of his aggressive dealings with the press.

    I guess I had higher expectations of so-called liberals not to get into the d!ck swinging/d!ck discourses, since both the Clinton impeachment/Starr Report and the “manly characteristic” talk was all Republican-generated. My mistake! It will never happen again.


  13. I don’t know that I had higher expectations for liberals, but then, I’d been hearing references to “President Codpiece” ever since that May 2003 event…


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