A Media Matters for America review of Maureen Dowd's columns since the beginning of 2007 reveals that Dowd frequently characterized Sen. Hillary Clinton as masculine, while portraying Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards as feminine. By contrast, Dowd rarely feminized the all-male Republican field and, during the period Media Matters reviewed, has never feminized Sen. John McCain, whom she has referred to in one column as a "tough guy."
Human Events editor Jed Babbin asserted that Sen. Barack Obama would not choose Sen. Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate because the Democrats "don't want to have both a black man and a woman on the same ticket for one reason: They are so racist and so sexist. They'll take a risk on one; they won't take a risk on two." Babbin made his statement despite the fact that every presidential and vice presidential nominee in the Republican Party's history has been a white male, and this year's presumptive presidential nominee does not break that pattern.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Marc Rudov said men should boycott the Sex and the City movie and would not see it because "paying to hear women whine is as stupid as paying for cobwebs, because you can get them both at home for free." When Bill O'Reilly asked Margaret Hoover whether she believed "that most American women are as shallow as" the four main characters in the movie, Rudov interrupted: "I do."
On Good Morning America, ABC News' Claire Shipman confronted Glenn Beck with his remark in March 2007 that Sen. Hillary Clinton is "the stereotypical bitch." Beck responded, in part, that "probably a better word was 'nag.' "
On Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle and Pat Buchanan discussed whether "sexism [will] play a key role in what went wrong" in Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, with Barnicle saying that "reality," not sexism, "will play a much larger role in what has happened," and Buchanan asserting that, while "there's resistance to a woman being the nominee," "the fact that she's a woman has helped her." But Barnicle has referred to Clinton as "looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court." Buchanan has described Clinton's voice as "rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard."
Discussing Sen. Hillary Clinton's comments regarding sexism in the media's coverage of her presidential campaign, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin referred to a New York Times column that "talked about some of the humor in the campaign, and the punch line was a line that was -- that Hillary Clinton was a 'white bitch.' " CNN political contributor Alex Castellanos asserted, "And some women, by the way, are named that and it's accurate."
A New York Times article noted that Sen. John McCain was asked by a voter at a South Carolina campaign event, "How do we beat the bitch?" in apparent reference to Sen. Hillary Clinton. But the article did not include McCain's response: "[T]hat's an excellent question."
On Morning Joe, Chris Matthews stated: "If you talk to people, older women, and I don't mean older than me, but maybe my age and older, and you talk to them, and they get really angry at me, of course. ... They usually have a hard time figuring out what the fact I was wrong on, but that's OK." But Media Matters for America has documented numerous "fact[s] [he] was wrong on."
On MSNBC Live, magician Penn Jillette told a version of a joke about Sen. Hillary Clinton: " '[Sen. Barack] Obama did great in February, and that's because that was Black History Month. And now Hillary's doing much better 'cause it's White Bitch Month,' right?" After Jillette told the joke, co-host Joe Scarborough said, "I knew I -- you know, I knew I should have warned you before you started it." Co-host Mika Brzezinski added: "I don't like that." But MSNBC had plenty of notice that Jillette likes to tell the joke, which he is seen telling in a Web video, clips of which aired while Scarborough and Brzezinski introduced him.
On MSNBC Live, as host Alex Witt reported on a press conference held by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on-screen text read: "GOP leaders criticize Dems for delaying vote on Fair Pay Act," falsely suggesting that Republicans wanted to pass the measure. At no point in the coverage of McConnell's press conference did Witt or MSNBC in its on-screen text explain that the Republicans planned to filibuster the bill.
On Morning Joe, after Pat Buchanan said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech following the Pennsylvania primary that "only once or twice did that voice start rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard. You know, where it starts going up -- " Joe Scarborough said, "Be careful here, Buchanan." Chris Matthews added, "Go the other way. You're in the danger area. ... You're in the danger area, Pat, take my advice."
On Real Time, Bill Maher said to Chris Matthews: "I heard you say on your show, you were talking about Barack Obama and you said -- and I know you like him. But you said when he goes into a diner, he can't ask the average guy, you know, how the Phillies doing and all that stuff. And you said he was -- at one point, he was offered coffee and he turned it down and asked if he could have orange juice instead." After Matthews said, "Yeah," Maher continued: "First of all, Chris, you don't understand black people. They like juice. Preferably gin and juice." In response, Matthews replied: "No, no. Not true. Let me, you know, it's -- you walk into a diner, one of these things where grumpy old men are hanging around because they don't want to be at home with their wives for an hour a morning and they're hanging around there."
On Your World, author Marc Rudov described himself as a "feminist" and said, "I look at women as equal peers." But later that day, on The O'Reilly Factor, Rudov mocked a study finding that "[h]aving a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for women" as "a flawed, anti-male, un-academic study that -- the kind you would expect from one of America's leading gyno-versities." He also asserted that if "the woman is complaining that the man doesn't work enough around the house," it may be because "she said 'I do' at the altar and 'I don't' in the bedroom."
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On Imus in the Morning, while discussing the April 16 Democratic debate, Don Imus said, "I thought Senator [Barack] Obama was on the defensive most of the night. But they're both sissy boys or sissy girls, or whatever. Because they talk big when they're out on the campaign trail, wolfing on each other." Charles McCord interjected, "But then," and Imus continued: "And then when they show up at the debate, they fold up like a couple of cheap lawn chairs. I mean, I don't understand that. And he's almost a bigger pussy than she is."