Far be it from me to note the superficial and inconsequential, but when I see Fluke I think more “chaste librarian” than raging “slut.”
By Olivia Nuzzi
The Sandra Fluke-Rush Limbaugh drama has succeeded in sparking a national debate about false equivalency in the media. Of course, things like sexism and misogyny exist on both the right and left. But on which side is it worse? And on which side – if any – is it fundamental?
In a piece posted here yesterday, Art Gallagher attacked “misogynists lefties” whom he admitted he had “never heard of” until The Daily Beast’s Kristen Powers brought them to his attention. Though, not knowing about these media figures didn’t stop Gallagher from blindly agreeing with Powers that they were “misogynists.”
I have a big problem with anyone making a diagnosis from a distance. Is Rush Limbaugh a misogynist? I suppose to figure that out you’d have to talk to his mother and four wives.
Does Rush Limbaugh say misogynistic things, and has he done so consistently throughout his career? From his claim that having “two or three abortions” is a part of a feminist “paying her dues” to his cracks about First Lady Michelle Obama’s figure, the evidence isn’t difficult to find.
However, none of that means that Limbaugh is without insight. And liberals who nod in agreement with the establishment left – conceding that he’s a mere useless blowhard – are not doing themselves any favors.
Limbaugh is right on occasion – there are indeed militant feminists, and what they espouse is arguably as harmful as Mel Gibson calling your daughter “sugar tits.” Admitting that doesn’t mean that I’m not a feminist, it means I’m not an ideological imbecile (though the readers on this website may disagree.)
The assertion that “lefties” are never reprimanded for their sexist or racist remarks may read as accurate if you live in a bubble. Evidently, Gallagher’s bubble hasn’t yet been punctured by reality on this topic.
Last May, MSNBC host and converted-liberal, Ed Schultz, was suspended by the network after calling Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut” on his radio program. I condemned that statement, as did every one from Alyssa Rosenberg from the left-wing Think Progress, to the Women’s Media Center’s President Julie Burton, to Keith Olbermann – that’d be one of those “misogynists lefties” Gallagher had “never heard of.”
In 2008, the National Organization for Women (NOW) circulated a petition, protesting MSNBC host Chris Matthews’ “record of ‘overt sexism when discussing women.'” They based this claim on research conducted by the known-liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America. The left-leaning NOW denounced Matthews for “sexist comments” made about Hillary Clinton, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the female correspondents who he worked with at MSNBC.
Also in 2008, MSNBC suspended Tucker Carlson’s guest-host David Shuster for suggesting that the Clinton campaign had “pimped out” Chelsea Clinton.
The late, great Christopher Hitchens was often the subject of liberal rage for his alleged sexism in the form of observations such as “Mrs. Clinton, looking like the dog being washed” and assessments of that same target as being “flagrant, hysterical, repetitive and pathological lying.” One of Hitchens’ later works, a Vanity Fair piece entitled “Why Women Aren’t Funny” saw him denounced as “sexist” by Mediaite’s Rachel Sklar and comedian Sarah Silverman.
In 2010, liberal hero Michael Moore, along with noted feminist author Naomi Wolfe, was the subject of a left-wing protest labeled “Moore and Me.” After making comments deemed “insensitive” regarding rape allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and offering to post his $20,000 bail, Moore was declared a “rape apologist.” Also smeared with the label was Naomi Wolfe, who – along with Moore and a handful of others – refused to condemn and dismiss Assange by virtue of the unclear rape allegations made against him.
And should you be under the impression that those on the left are only castigated when they’re criticizing fellow liberals, you’re mistaken.
Keith Olbermann has come under fire numerous times from the liberal and feminist establishments for his bombastic remarks about conservative women. In 2009, Olbermann was called out by the left-wing Air America’s editor of news and politics, Megan Carpentier, for “belittling” Malkin’s voice with his impersonation of her. Carpentier went on to suggest that Olbermann’s attack relied on “silly stereotypes” and “imagery that brings to mind victims of domestic violence.”
This past November, Bill Maher – another one of those “misogynists lefties” Gallagher had “never heard of” – was scolded by feminists after he made a joke about the detention of CBS’s Lara Logan, wherein he suggested that America would be willing to send Elisabeth Hasselbeck to Egypt in exchange for the safe return of the foreign correspondent.
The Sandra Fluke-Rush Limbaugh episode is a unique one, mainly because Sandra Fluke is not a public figure. Limbaugh did not simply take a one-shot at a commentator – he used his platform as the loudest voice in radio to verbally batter a civilian for days.
Far be it from me to note the superficial and inconsequential, but when I see Fluke I think more “chaste librarian” than raging “slut.” Not to mention, Fluke’s testimony itself had nothing to do with sex. Which leads me to believe that Limbaugh didn’t even bother to listen to her speak – and perhaps he didn’t even bother to look at her. Had he done so, he would’ve witnessed a civil woman discuss a friend who paid, out of pocket, for the birth control pills she was prescribed to treat a medical condition.
It’s true that both the liberal and conservative movements have leaders, followers and mouthpieces who often thoughtlessly employ incendiary rhetoric. But it’s also true that those with sharp tongues on both sides of the aisle face consequences.
Unfortunately for ideologues, more people are governed by their sense of Right and Wrong than Right and Left.
Olivia Nuzzi was briefly a MMM contributor until Dan Jacobson’s triCityNews lured her away with money and colorful language. We’re glad to have her back, even if only to set us straight.
Posted: March 6th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Art Gallagher, Media, misogyny, Olivia Nuzzi, Sandra Fluke, sexism | Tags: Alyssa Rosenberg, Art Gallagher, Bill Clinton, Bill Maher, Chelsea Clinton, Chris Matthews, Christopher Hitchens, David Shuster, Ed Schultz, Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange, Julie Burton, Keith Olbermann, Lara Logan, Laura Ingraham, Media Matters, Megan Carpentier, Micheal Moore, Michelle Malkin, Michelle Obama, misogyny, MSNBC, Nancy Pelosi, Naomi Wolfe, National Organization for Woman, NOW, Olivia Nuzzi, Rachel Sklar, Rush Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke, Sarah Silverman, sexism, Tucker Carlson | 28 Comments »
Governor Chris Christie signed legislation to designed to revitalize Atlantic City. The Oceanport Task Force on Monmouth Park stepped up its efforts to save New Jersey’s horse racing industry.
Live Action Video released a tape of a Perth Amboy Planned Parenthood office manager coaching an actor posing as a pimp how to “beat the system” set up to protect underage sex trafficking victims. Media Matters for America, a liberal media watchdog, called the video a hoax and defended Planned Parenthood for alerting the FBI about a potential multistate sex trafficking ring. Amy Woodruff, the Planned Parenthood office manager, was fired. Frank Pallone was silent on the matter. The Asbury Park Press issued an inaccurate editorial defending Planned Parenthood.
The U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the 2010 census. New Jersey lost a congressional district. Hispanics became the state’s largest minority group. New Jersey’s population shifted from the north to the southern and central regions of the state.
New Jersey’s newpaper industry appealed to Trenton Democrats to maintain their corporate welfare in the form of “legal advertising.”
Congressman Christopher Lee, (R-Buffalo, NY) resigned three hours after gawker.com published shirtless photos of him that he had sent to a woman seeking a date via craigslist.
By-laws, and the lack thereof, for the Monmouth GOP became a hot topic for a week or two.
Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich likened Congressman Chris Smith and American Catholics opposed to abortion to the Arizona shooter.
Freeholder Deputy Director John Curley called for a public review of Brookdale Community College’s budget and spending after learning of expensive country club memberships and a housing allowance for college President Dr. Peter Burnham. Burnham had drafted a budget that called for a 8.2% tuition increase and blamed the need for the increase on the Freeholder Board reducing the county subsidy for the college.
Red Bank Councilman Michael Dupont and Shrewsbury attorney Brian Nelson fought over the Sayreville Borough Attorney’s job.
The Republican Association of Princeton was reconstituted as The Lincoln Club of New Jersey under the leadership of Scott Sipprelle.
Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, Wall Committeeman George Newberry and Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich launched their campaigns for the GOP nomination for Freeholder.
Posted: December 27th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2011 Year in review | Tags: 2010 Census, Abortion, American Catholics, Amy Woodruff, Andrew Lucas, Asbury Park Press, Atlantic City, Brian Nelson, Brookdale Community College, Chris Christie, Chris Smith, Christoper Lee, Ed Zipprich, Frank Pallone, Gary Rich, Gawker.com, George Newberry, John Curley, Legal Advertising, Lincoln Club of New Jersey, Live Action Video, Media Matters, Michael Dupont, Monmouth GOP, Newspaper Industry, Oceanport Taskforce on Monmouth Park, Peter Burnham, Planned Parenthood, Sayreville, Scott Sipprelle | 11 Comments »
Media Matters calls video a HOAX. Says Planned Parenthood already alerted federal authorities of a suspected sex trafficing ring.
The “otherside” of the story, per Media Matters:
Posted: February 1st, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Planned Parenthood | Tags: LiveAction, Media Matters, Planned Parenthood | 3 Comments »
Today, anti-abortion rights propagandist Lila Rose released her latest in a series of heavily edited videos seeking to demonstrate that Planned Parenthood engages in criminal activities. Rose’s organization, Live Action, claims their video exposes what they call “Planned Parenthood’s cover-up of child sex trafficking.”
Except that isn’t what the video shows at all.
Rather, the Live Action video shows edited comments made by a single Planned Parenthood employee. Live Action has so far refused to publicly release the full video of the incident, instead posting what the organization itself admits is an “abridged 11-minute video.” (Live Action claims they are “sending full footage” to law enforcement officials.)
Is Live Action accurately portraying the Planned Parenthood employee’s statements and actions? It’s impossible to say for sure without the full video, but there is good reason for media to be skeptical. Lila Rose, after all, began infiltrating abortion clinics in collaboration with James O’Keefe — a convicted criminal who repeatedly lied about his heavily edited ACORN videos. Rose herself has a history of smearing the subjects of her videos.
But even if Live Action’s video doesn’t take the employee out of context, the incident obviously doesn’t show Planned Parenthood covering up child sex trafficking. That’s because Planned Parenthood has already reported the “potential sex trafficking” to law enforcement officials.
On January 24, Planned Parenthood released the following statement, titled “Planned Parenthood Informs Federal Authorities of Potential Sex Trafficking” [emphasis in original]:
Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) alerted federal authorities to a potential multistate sex trafficking ring. Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring. Subsequent to alerting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Planned Parenthood learned the identify of one of those involved and believes these visits are likely a hoax by opponents of legal abortion seeking to discredit Planned Parenthood, which delivers preventive health care and abortion services to three million women each year.
Men, sometimes accompanied by a woman, have visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in six states within a one-week time frame. During their visits, they claimed to be involved in sex trafficking of teens, some of whom are in the United States illegally. These men appeared at health centers without appointments and said that they were seeking health services for themselves, but they quickly turned the conversation to the sex ring they said they were managing.
“When Planned Parenthood learns of an operation that exploits young women, we vigilantly work with law enforcement authorities to uncover and stop this abhorrent activity,” said Stuart Schear, PPFA vice president for communications. “Planned Parenthood’s top priority is the health and safety of our patients and the health and well-being of women and teens across the country, and we have been in contact with federal and local authorities to identify the persons involved in these visits.”
One of the men involved in these visits has now been identified, and he appears to be associated with or influenced by Live Action, an anti-Planned Parenthood organization that uses surreptitious videotaping and manipulative editing for media and political campaigns. The pattern of these visits and the highly unusual nature of the information being shared with staff lends credibility to the possibility that these multistate visits are part of this organization’s ongoing effort to “bring down” Planned Parenthood, a nearly 100-year-old organization with more than 800 health centers from coast to coast. Live Action is associated with James O’Keefe, the conservative activist who was arrested for attempting to wiretap the offices of Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
In recent years Planned Parenthood has been the target of activists attempting to portray the organization negatively by secretly videotaping inside health centers and publicizing heavily edited versions of those tapes to the media. Recent incidents are the first time that such visitors have told Planned Parenthood staff that they are involved in sex trafficking of minor girls.
“If a multistate sex trafficking operation is in place, those responsible must be pursued to stop the exploitation of girls and young women,” said Schear. “If these visits are part of a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign, they must be condemned. Falsely claiming sex trafficking to health professionals to advance a political agenda is an astoundingly cynical form of political activity.”
All Planned Parenthood staff have been alerted to the suspicious visits, and Planned Parenthood is working with FBI investigators and local authorities.
Last week, the AP reported that “Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder summarizing the visits and requesting an FBI investigation. If the man’s assertions were true, she wrote, they would indicate possible violations of federal laws dealing with interstate sex trafficking of minors. … Schear said there had been some preliminary contacts with the FBI, which was asking for information from the clinics that were visited.”
Planned Parenthood reported the potential sex trafficking to the Attorney General and the FBI. So clearly, Planned Parenthood wasn’t trying to cover anything up.