Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bob Somerby Gets It

Three prostrations with folded hands to Bob Somerby. No, really, for Somerby takes media whore media whore misogynists to task at the Daily Howler:

"OLBERMANN: Wow. I mean, to what degree is that the other prominent Republican governors who got some passing mention during this campaign, with an eye towards 2012—Jindal, Pawlenty, Crist? Is there any sense that any of them are forming a power base behind Palin? Or are they intending to, you know, cut her up like a Roman dictator and smuggle her out under their robes?

CARLSON: Ha, ha. Well, they only say that quietly, Keith."

Sorry, but that’s very strange. A few months ago, Olbermann apologized for picturing Hillary Clinton getting beaten up by a bunch of goons behind locked doors. This week, he was picturing Sarah Palin getting cut up into pieces.

Within moments, he mockingly compared her to Lindsay Lohan—then, to Dizzy Dean.

It’s always surprising to see the way such fellows discuss the women they hate. They seem to find it hard to do so without picturing violence or turning to overt, gender-based derision. In our view, Palin is a remarkably underwhelming figure, in ways which are quite easy to define. You don’t have to compare her to Lohan, or picture her being killed—unless your skills are remarkably weak, or you simply enjoy hating women. But MSNBC has trafficked, for many years, in weird, remarkable woman-loathing. And when it comes to their new uber-star, it seems he’s gotta have it.

But then, [t]here’s Archie Bunker—sorry, Josh Marshall—letting us know, just yesterday, who the latest “dingbat” is. Without even bothering to report what this new “dingbat” actually said!

But so it goes as progressive intellectual standards spiral steadily downward. Olbermann’s performance on Wednesday’s show was an unfortunate case in point. He performed in ways which used to define the woeful standards of pseudo-con talk. . . .

What can you say about a guy who can’t lay out Palin’s obvious weaknesses without resorting to gender-based trashing? But most strikingly, Olbermann’s instinct for violent imagery doesn’t seem to want to quit. This is bad for progressive interests, and it’s bad for young men and young women. We’d have to say it’s just plain bad for the world in which we all live.

Can someone explain why “progressive” leaders can’t seem to quit this kind of talk?

Anglachel's Journal: Women They Love To Hate.

Perhaps more to the point, why don't we have more men like Bob Somerby unflinchingly calling out the misogyny of people like Olbermann?

Hmm. I don't know why we don't.

Why don't we?


the rev. paperboy said...

I'm not going to argue that Olbermann isn't occasionally sexist but I don't see that comparing Palin to an assasinated Roman dictator is necessarily sexist. It is undeniably violent imagery, but I think he'd have said the same thing about any target of his ire, be they man, woman, animal, vegetable or mineral. Well, okay maybe not mineral.
An argument could be made that using such violent imagery is inappropriate, but I think it would be a difficult one to make successfully.

No Blood for Hubris said...

I don't think KO talks that way about Bush, actually.

Anonymous said...

No, he doesn't. "Special Comments" were always related to some policy issue and were concluded with a call to step down or make it right. Not once will you find any allusion to the idea that someone needed to take Bush out back and unleash some whoop-ass on him.

I started watching KO after the 2004 campaign and his willingness to take on Bush and his cabal helped me to accept his explanations/protestations that his producers were forcing him to cover Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, etc. What I began to notice that he rarely took on celebrity MEN, but nearly every night there was some segment about some starlet. Even back then, he took exceptional glee in trashing women. It took on hurricane force in this election season.

No Blood for Hubris said...

That has been my experience with him as well. One expects it from the right, not from progressives (sic), but it's there, and nobody minds much.

No Blood for Hubris said...

See comments under picture above, from a progressive I know and respect but who clearly thinks mentioning gender bias is much ado about nothing.

; (

the rev. paperboy said...

I most emphatically do not think that mentioning gender bias is much ado about nothing. I just don't think sexism is the main problem in the financial crisis. As far as Olberman is concerned, I don't watch him, so I don't really know if this is part of a pattern or not, but I still say that comparing the way people in her own party have turned on her to Roman senators murdering Caesar isn't necessarily sexist. I think the same metaphor would have been apt if used about the way conservatives turned on John McCain.

But to be honest, talking about Palin is always much ado about nothing. ;)

No Blood for Hubris said...

Oh, god, I didn't mean that sexism had ANYTHING to do with the financial crisis!

Not at all.

I was just appreciating the grouping of 20 world leaders, a group with so few blacks, women, etc.