MSNBC host Ed Schultz has been suspended without pay for a week for calling right-wing pundit Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut" on his radio show. Schultz apologized on MSNBC last night, calling his words "terribly vile." This is not a new thing at MSNBC. In 2006, Keith Olbermann did a bit about Paris Hilton being assaulted–joking that she has "had worse things happen to her face." The on-screen graphic was "A Slut and Battery." In 2009 he called right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin a "big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."
Newsweek's cover story this week is on the plight of college-educated white men aged 35-64. The magazine laments that "this hitherto privileged demo isn't just on its knees, it's flat on on its face." The subhead of the piece asks, "Can manhood survive the lost decade?" Now, I have much sympathy for all who are struggling with unemployment. But are middle-aged, college-educated white males flat on their face and worthy of a trend cover story? It's hard to square that with the piece's own admission that their jobless rate is just above 5 percent. Most demographic groups would give anything […]
ABC reporter Jonathan Karl clarifies the budget stalemate that nearly shut down the federal government (ABC World News, 4/7/11): KARL: And believe it or not, the issue of abortion could be what causes the government to shut down. GRAPHICS: DEMOCRATS CLAIM KARL: Democrats say Republicans are trying to use the funding bill to force new restrictions on abortion rights. GRAPHICS: REPUBLICANS CLAIM KARL: But Republicans say they are simply trying to restrict public funding of abortion. "Democrats say, Republicans say." ABC could save money and program a computer to do this. Later Karl said this: Today, House Republicans did pass […]
I wrote a letter to the New York Times in 1991 after they ran a piece by Fox Butterfield (4/17/91) that invaded the privacy (literally peering into her daughter's bedroom window) and scrutinized the personal life of a woman who accused a member of the Kennedy family of raping her. Clearly some people inside the paper were outraged as well, because they don't usually print letters that are this critical (4/21/91): I read with growing disbelief the "profile" of the alleged victim in the Palm Beach, Florida, rape case. It seems you are borrowing not only your policies on naming […]
In late 2009 and early 2010, right-wing activist James O'Keefe concocted a story that got widespread media coverage. The tall tale went like this: O'Keefe and his associate went to offices affiliated with the community organizing group ACORN in order to solicit advice on running a brothel and evading taxes. The problem was that nothing much like that actually happened. As FAIR summarized (Action Alert, 3/11/10): O'Keefe never dressed as a pimp during his visits to ACORN offices, seems to never actually represent himself as a "pimp," and the advice he solicits is usually about how to file income taxes […]
New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney has a long piece (10/29/10) about California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, the Republican candidate for Senate. Both are expected to lose on Tuesday, which leaves Nagourney wondering why women aren't more eager to support female politicians. The piece poses a lot of big questions–the fact that both are struggling "raising questions about money, gender and Americans' views of candidates who come out of corporate boardrooms." It is surprising that they are trailing Democrats who are"symbols of liberal policies and nearly as old as talking pictures." Nagourney gets to gender: And […]
You may remember James O'Keefe as the video hoaxter who fooled media into thinking ACORN gave tax advice to a man wearing a pimp costume (FAIR Action Alert, 3/11/10). Or as the miscreant whose attempts to interfere with Sen. Mary Landrieu's office phones got him arrested (Extra!, 4/10). Now O'Keefe has a new claim to fame as the guy who tried to turn sexual harassment into reality TV. CNN is reporting today (9/29/10) that one of its reporters, Abbie Boudreau, was the target of a bizarre, misogynistic scheme by O'Keefe's video production team–"Project Veritas"–to lure her on to a boat […]
There's a push for the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act before Congress adjourns for the season, which has sparked some pushback from right-wingers given prominent platforms in the corporate media. The Act, which already passed the House, would help enforce and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963; under the law, women would actually be able to find out how much their male colleagues make without either of them facing retaliation. A September 22 New York Times op-ed by Christina Hoff Sommers of AEI and an October 4 George Will Newsweek column both attack it as […]
A recent FAIR study (Extra!, 8/10) looked at politically themed books reviewed by the New York Times Book Review and the C-SPAN show After Words and concluded that both outlets heavily favored white male authors and reviewers. The Times came off particularly badly in the study, which revealed 95 percent of the U.S. authors reviewed, and 96 percent of the reviewers, were white. As far as gender was concerned, women–who obviously make up roughly 50 percent of the population–accounted for just 13 percent of the authors and 12 percent of the critics. Today, Slate weighed in on the New York […]
The New York Times' Susan Dominus, writing an article (8/24/10) entirely about a congressional candidate's footwear, makes an attempt at self-inoculation: I know. We, the news media, are not supposed to ask female candidates about their hairstyle or their choice of pantsuits over skirts or their shoes. It is irrelevant. It is trivializing. It is sexist. "You would never write about Chuck Schumer's shoes," Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand said in a New York magazine article in response to a question about her flats. So why write this article that is irrelevant, trivializing and sexist? Because, as it turns out, the […]
As France's lower house of parliament approved a ban on wearing full-face Islamic veils such as the burqa or niqab, many U.S. news outlets left out a key voice in their reports: the Muslim women in France who are actually affected by the ban. Several major outlets, including the New York Times (7/14/10), Washington Post (7/14/10) and the Los Angeles Times (7/14/10), have managed to cover the story without seeking commentary from a single Muslim woman. Out of 11 named sources used bythese newspapers in their July 14 reports, only two were Muslim–both men, one a rector and one leader […]
No, that's not a typo: Only 1.6 percent of sports coverage on L.A.'s three major network affiliates went to women's sports. On ESPN Sportscenter, it's 1.4 percent. It's just slightly higher when you add in ticker-tape coverage. And it's getting worse, not better: Those numbers are down from about 5 percent in 1989. And a major part of that drop, according to study co-author Michael Messner of the University of Southern California, is because of a drop in "insulting or trivialization or humorous sexualization of women athletes, like a nude bungee jumper or leering court reports on tennis players like […]
Correspondent Pete Williams last night on NBC Nightly News (5/10/10) gave viewers the scoop on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's record as dean of Harvard law school: "She diversified the faculty, hiring prominent conservatives." Kagan also hired almost no people of color and very few women, in a historically white and male faculty. It's an interesting definition of "diversify."