Friday, January 18, 2008

Goddess But I'm Naive

I am. Eternally the virgin when it comes to understanding the anti-feminists' strategies. When I posted the Chris Matthews pseudo-apology I wondered why he only discussed one specific incident when his history is full of such incidents of sexist comments. I thought he was just trying to save face.

But of course not. The reason was to prepare the groundwork for the argument that the feminazis are attacking poor Chris for one single isolated comment, taken out of context, and that this discussion is NOT about sexism but about censorship. And white guys are the oppressed group and Must.Fight.Back. for their right to make slurs about Hillary Clinton.

Don't believe me? Read this transcript about Scarborough's show:

SCARBOROUGH: Pat, I suppose I should guard my words here. I am not going to do it. This is offensive to me, that Chris Matthews said something that op-ed writers wrote about in '98, in '99, in 2000. That Bill Clinton scandal with Monica Lewinsky clearly helped Hillary Clinton politically because she showed enormous grace under fire, she showed just how strong she was, she continued doing her job. It was a very good moment for her. It was a bit like -- let's just say New Hampshire was a microcosm of that time, when she was getting abused last week. And we saw her the night before, when she thought she was going to lose by 15 points, she still showed an enormous strength -- and I've said this on the air before -- an enormous strength that I hope may be an example to my daughter, who -- or any woman who goes through so much -- so many problems but stays that strong.

Now, I've said all of that just to say, I think it's outrageous that Chris Matthews has to apologize for saying something, inartfully perhaps, so many years later that op-ed writers were talking about in '99 and 2000 because Gloria Steinem, who wrote an op-ed supporting Hillary Clinton before New Hampshire, Media Matters, who many people have called a front group for Hillary Clinton, just because they're attacking Chris Matthews, who has obviously been critical of Hillary Clinton. What's your take?

BUCHANAN: Well, let me say, look, I think you're exactly right. Hillary Rodham Clinton became for the American people for the first time a deeply sympathetic figure, not the sort of radical liberal she was perceived as being, when she stood up with grace under pressure under all that humiliation and frankly all that disgrace that was visited upon the presidency and upon her husband, and she handled herself exceedingly well, and that made her a sympathetic figure and was clearly an enormous boost to her when she decided to run for the Senate.

And frankly, I hope Chris was not forced to make any kind of statement like that or coerced. I do think what Chris said was very gracious in this sense: He seemed to say the only reason that she did well was because her husband was messing around. And I think Hillary Clinton -- frankly, I was astounded at how well she did running for the Senate, and she did go up to northern New York, that listening tour and talking to those people and taking the beating, and she did run a fine campaign, and she's been a fine United States senator from her standpoint, and those things have made her a prospective presidential candidate as well.

So what Chris said last night, I think was accurate. There were both things, were factors. But I do hope -- and I do agree with you. I hope nobody forced him to do that. And simply because Gloria Steinem or Media Matters or somebody else like that comes after you is no reason for anybody to apologize. It could be a badge of honor.


SCARBOROUGH: Well, it certainly has a chilling effect on what we do.

BRZEZINSKI: I'm probably going to say something that's wildly unpopular with women, but what bothers me about this is that the websites isolated one portion of what he said and that was a conversation, and I was a part of that conversation, and I actually remember saying to him that of course if Laura Bush or if someone else was humiliated by their husband, they wouldn't win for Senate because they didn't have the qualifications, and Hillary Clinton had worked all of her life getting experience. But what Chris was saying --

SCARBOROUGH: And Chris agreed with you.

BRZEZINSKI: He agreed with me, and that was the conversation. But what he was saying, like in New Hampshire, there was a confluence of events including sympathy --


BRZEZINSKI: -- that led to her success, and there was nothing wrong with pointing that out. There was nothing wrong with it.

SCARBOROUGH: And let me say, Pat, the reason I felt sorry for her personally -- personally, not as a reporter, but personally -- was because of some of the horrible things I thought her husband was saying about her on the campaign trail, and I've talked to a lot of men and a lot of women that felt the same way.

BRZEZINSKI: And she doesn't --

SCARBOROUGH: And we were like -- and we all said, "She deserves so much better than this."

BRZEZINSKI: She doesn't play the victim, but she happens to in some cases in time to have been one. It doesn't take away from her other qualities and her intellectual experience.


BUCHANAN: You know, Joe, on the morning of New Hampshire, I came on before John Edwards came on your show, and you played that clip of Edwards saying, "You've got to be tough to be president," you know, about her sort of emotional moment, and I said it was graceless. And behind that was the sentiment that she had been beaten up in the debate, and she had gotten emotional at the end of a campaign. It looked like everything was slipping away.

And I think, just like I did and others did who are not Clintonites, felt a sympathy for her. The women of New Hampshire came to her rescue there. And there's no doubt about it: It was again a deeply sympathetic moment for her. And just as the 1988 -- I mean, '98-'99, so in those 48 hours before New Hampshire, I think that emotion came to her, and I think it was the winning factor. And to the degree that Chris reflected on that, I think he was accurate.


SHUSTER: Just one comment about Chris Matthews. I've worked with him for five and a half years. I've been alongside him, on camera, off, good times and bad. Nobody is more gracious and has a bigger heart, and has contributed more in a positive way to our political discourse than Chris Matthews.

SCARBOROUGH: Now, let me say, let me say --

SHUSTER: And to see him have to go through this is absolutely infuriating, to see the way these groups used him for pure political gain is absolutely infuriating.

SCARBOROUGH: And let me say this also about Chris: He says things that drive me crazy. Some of the things he said on the war, on the president, on the vice president has made my face turn beet red, but you know what? I remembered what he said about the Democratic president 10 years earlier.

And again, it is so frightening. And I'll tell you what, Chris is hosting this show on Tuesday, and we're damn proud that he's doing that. The thing is, Pat, it seems that we live now in this media age, in this campaign where you've got groups like NOW, Gloria Steinem, Media Matters. They can take one clip out of a three-hour show and start putting pressure on journalistic operations, and this is what happens. It's terrible, isn't it?

BUCHANAN: The real danger, Joe, is not Chris Matthews, it is censorship.

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah, that's the bottom line.

SCARBOROUGH: It is censorship, and it's frightening.

BRZEZINSKI: And then at some point during the show, we do have to talk about Hillary on Tyra. I'm just saying. I'm just saying.

SCARBOROUGH: All right. Very good. And I know Pat will agree with me, there is nothing wrong with a political campaign using third parties to try to beat up, to try to push back reporters that are tough on them. I -- Buchanan and I, we tried to do the same thing before. That's fine. That's what they do. It is up to the news agencies to show backbone. Right, Chris -- right, Pat?

BUCHANAN: I agree 100 percent, Joe.