Articles in Newsweek and The Washington Post mischaracterized a remark by former President Bill Clinton, claiming that he appeared to dismiss Sen. Barack Obama's campaign as "the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen." In fact, Clinton was referring to Obama's statements about his position on the Iraq war; he was not talking about the Obama campaign as the "biggest fairy tale." Further, the Newsweek article, as well as a New York Times article and a Washington Post op-ed, all truncated a comment by Hillary Clinton on the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s, omitting a portion of her remarks in which she referred to President John F. Kennedy.
January 9 was not the first time Chris Matthews has suggested that Hillary Clinton owes her political career to her husband's adultery. In 1999, when Clinton was running for the Senate for the first time, Matthews said: "I mean, it's hilarious, but isn't that her main claim, that she's the victim of the -- of the -- of the year?" later adding, "Now it's an election ca -- it's a bumper sticker. 'My husband cheated on me, make me senator.' "
On Hardball, Chris Matthews asked Bill Richardson: "What do you make of Hillary Clinton's performance on Saturday night right before the New Hampshire primary, this past Saturday night? There's been a lot of talk about this, the role that we in the media, that I personally played. There's a whole kind of -- all kind of discussion about the boys perhaps tackling the one woman candidate."
Chris Matthews -- who claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton is a U.S. senator and presidential candidate because "her husband messed around" and that "[s]he didn't win [her Senate seat] on her merit" -- has an extensive history of attacking Clinton, but his sexist commentary has hardly been limited to her.
During an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe, NBC News' David Shuster mocked co-host Joy Behar of ABC's The View for her criticism of MSNBC host Chris Matthews' recent comments about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in which Matthews attributed Clinton's political success to her husband's "mess[ing] around." Shuster stated, "Yeah, you know, Joy Behar is well known for her political analysis" and then rolled his eyes, before purporting to "impersonat[e]" Behar.
Discussing recent comments by Chris Matthews about Sen. Hillary Clinton, Fox News contributor Jane Hall referred to what Matthews said about "how she got elected not on her own merits, but because of his [Bill Clinton] fooling around, as he put it. ... He said she wanted to bury his [Sen. Barack Obama] campaign and what would she do with the body? That she wanted to strangle Obama in the crib." Hall concluded: "[E]very woman I know saw the media coverage declaring her dead and said, 'You know, I've been through that. I've experienced that kind of sexism.' "
During MSNBC's coverage of the New Hampshire Primary, Hardball host Chris Matthews said of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's performance during a January 5 Democratic presidential candidates debate: "I wasn't clear at all that she won it. But maybe she was good enough to seem good enough here for women who wanted to root for her anyway." He further stated that the 2008 presidential election is "a pioneer opportunity for women voting -- especially older women voting, who may figure this is their last chance to elect a woman president."
On Your World, Marc Rudov, author of Under the Clitoral Hood: How to Crank Her Engine Without Cash, Booze, or Jumper Cables, asserted: "When Barack Obama speaks, men hear, 'Take off for the future.' And when Hillary Clinton speaks, men hear, 'Take out the garbage.' " During his appearance on the show, on-screen text read: "Rudov: Clinton's 'nagging voice' is reason she lost male vote."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity said to his guest, Ann Coulter: "You know, [Sen.] Barack Obama's [D-IL] pastor... has this whole list of the Black Value System. It seems like he's supporting a segregated church." Hannity provided no evidence to support his suggestion that the church of which Obama is a member, the Trinity Church of Christ, is "segregated"; indeed, University of Chicago Divinity School professor emeritus Martin Marty wrote of Trinity: "My wife and I on occasion attend, and, like all other non-blacks, are enthusiastically welcomed."
Michael Savage referred to Rep. Jane Harman, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Barbara Boxer as "yentas," said Harman should "[g]o home and cook verenikis," and suggested that they were in office because they "have rich husbands who put them in power with their money, so they could have a little hobby in between getting their nails done." Later Savage asked his "board operator" if he would rather "be waterboarded for 30 seconds or eat Jane Harman's ravioli" and whether he'd rather "be waterboarded or eat Nancy Pelosi's tortellini."
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly took a call from a listener who said, "It sounds like [Oprah Winfrey is] voting for [Sen. Barack Obama] because he's black." O'Reilly responded: "I don't think your assessment is wrong." In a recent speech, after naming several specific actions Obama has taken, Winfrey said: "We need a president with clarity and conviction, who knows how to consult his own conscience and proceed with moral authority. We need Barack Obama."
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh aired a clip of Bill Moyers saying: "And you couldn't say, 'How are we going to defeat the nigger?' How are we going to -- which is the word that was so common when I was growing up in the South. 'How are you going to defeat the kike?' referring to Jews -- you wouldn't do -- that woman would not have done that, I don't think." After the clip, Limbaugh said: "I have no idea what he's talking about. I do -- I'm pretty sure he's lost his mind. Meanwhile, they accuse us of saying those words and harboring those thoughts, and now look who's out saying them on PBS." At no point during the show did Limbaugh note that Moyers was discussing Sen. John McCain's response to a woman who asked him: "How do we beat the bitch?"
Reporting on Rudy Giuliani's December 9 appearance on Meet the Press, the Politico's Jonathan Martin asserted in a blog post that Giuliani "seemed to even good-naturedly mock and welcome [Tim] Russert's line of questions when the matter of" his business ventures' clients came up." By contrast, in Politico articles about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's September 23 appearances on all five Sunday talk shows, Mike Allen and John F. Harris wrote that Clinton's laugh "sounded like it was programmed by computer," and Ben Smith described Clinton's laugh as a "cackle."