With reports that Sen. John McCain had picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate, sexist commentary on cable news followed. On CNN, John Roberts raised the question of whether as vice president, Palin would be able to devote the time necessary to care for her baby with Down syndrome, and on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd suggested that Sen. Joe Biden bears the burden of having to adjust his behavior in a vice-presidential debate because of Palin's sex.
On his radio show, Michael Savage said, "The Democrat [sic] Party is the minority party. ... Obama is a minority, a half minority at least. The membership is made up largely of minority blocs, the Hispanic caucus and the gay caucus -- caucuses that are all against the white person." Savage also claimed: "Now, the white women generally are not as hard-nosed about things as the white male, and so many white women don't even understand that they're being duped, and they vote for a Democrat, not knowing that they're digging their own grave."
Fox News' Neil Cavuto interviewed "anti-feminist attorney" Roy Den Hollander, who discussed his lawsuit against Columbia University for offering a women's studies program "but not a men's studies program." Den Hollander said: "[C]ut out the feminazi, feminist women's studies programs and bring back varsity sports, and you're going to do a lot better for the university." Den Hollander later said that women "are a suspect class. Every time they open their mouths, I begin to suspect something."
On his radio show, Neal Boortz described "single mothers receiving public assistance" as "welfare broodmares" -- a "broodmare" is "a mare [a female horse] kept for breeding." Boortz previously referred to "welfare brood mares" in a "Nealz Nuze" post on his website.
Dowd is furious the Democrats have language in their platform that condemns sexist media coverage and that points out "demeaning portrayals of women ... dampen the dreams of our daughters."
In a news article, The Washington Times described a Michigan campaign event featuring Michelle Obama as "as much estrogenfest as it was campaign rally" and wrote: "Even Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm got in on the girlie show as they campaigned together."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity criticized the purchase of credits to offset one's "carbon footprint," asserting, "Those offsets -- that is the biggest hoax in the world. ... You know what it's like? You go cheat on your wife, and then say, 'Honey, but don't worry. I bought an offset.' Good luck." Hannity has yet to address the pledge by News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch "to be carbon neutral, across all our businesses" -- which includes Fox News -- "by 2010."
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd responded to complaints about her frequent use of gender stereotypes by saying that "nobody had objected to her use of similar images about men over seven presidential campaigns," according to Times public editor Clark Hoyt. However, many writers and organizations -- including Media Matters for America -- have noted Dowd's feminization of male Democratic presidential candidates.
Referring to a New York Times article headlined "Those Loyal to the Clintons Take Note of Who Was Not," Monica Crowley claimed that those who reportedly spoke to the Times did so "only on the condition of anonymity, because they also do not want to end up in cement shoes." Crowley also described Hillary Clinton's purported treatment of someone who is, in Crowley's words, "backing the 'hope' guy": "[I]t will be too bad for you because girlfriend will cut you. She will strap you into the electric chair. Then she will waterboard you. Then she will slowly and methodically pull off each one of your toenails. Then she will deprive you of sleep by blasting 'The Best of the '80s Hair Bands' at you, and then she will cut off your manhood, and then she will throw the switch."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews said that Sen. Barack Obama should pick as his running mate "[s]omeone who's palpably patriotic, who sort of exudes it." Also, referring to Sen. John McCain's 6-percentage-point advantage over Obama among suburban white women in a recent poll, Matthews asserted, "[W]omen are low-hanging fruit, though, in the terms of politics. You can reach up and say, 'I'm pro-choice, he's not.' "
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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.