Fox & Friends' blatant hypocrisy on "whore"-gate just cannot pass by unnoticed. Earlier this month, it was revealed that someone affiliated with California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown's campaign called Republican opponent Meg Whitman a "whore," saying she cut a deal to protect police pensions in exchange for a police endorsement. The campaign has been widely criticized for the remark, with Tom Brokaw, who moderated the most recent Brown-Whitman debate, telling Brown that word represents the same sort of insult to many women that "the N-word" represents to African Americans. Yet nary a word has been mentioned on Fox & Friends about the fact that Whitman's campaign chairman used the same word in the same metaphorical manner to claim that Congress was "whores" to unions. Indeed, Fox & Friends edited out the portion of the debate in which Whitman was challenged on this very issue.
The Fox & Friends morning crew has worked overtime to promote every nuance of the Brown story over the past week, ginning up outrage by bringing it up over and over. They've repeatedly aired clips of Whitman refusing to accept Brown's apology during the debate; they've called the term a slur; they've discussed whether the staffer should be fired, and they criticized the National Organization of Women (NOW) for endorsing Brown after the staffer's comments came to light. Then today, the Fox & Friends crew asked if NOW should no longer call itself the National Organization of Women because a NOW representative said that Whitman could be called a "political whore," and called NOW's use of the word, in any context, was "astounding":
But there's one relevant piece of this story you didn't learn from Fox & Friends. For all of Whitman's expressed outrage, her own campaign chairman Pete Wilson used the word, referring to Congress' protection of employee unions. However, when Brown asked Whitman about her staff's use of the term, she called that a "completely different thing," and declined to apologize, even though Brown did for his campaign staffer's metaphorical use of the term. Did Fox & Friends find Wilson's statement "astounding?" Do they think Wilson should be fired? I guess we'll never know, because they never found the time to mention Wilson's comments, or even airing that part of the debate, which came immediately after Brown's apology.
Covering up the Whitman campaign's use of the term while demanding that any use of the word is a slur to women and not to be tolerated is blatant hypocrisy, and shouting sexism to get ahead politically demeans the struggle of women who have sacrificed so much in the fight against sexism.
Using slurs and demeaning language is not acceptable. Neither is hiding behind fake outrage to prop up a political candidate.