MSNBC's Carlson invoked Lorena Bobbitt to claim Clinton is tapping into women's anger toward men

››› ››› JOSH KALVEN

On the November 1 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, while discussing the response by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) presidential campaign to the October 30 Democratic debate, host Tucker Carlson asked whether Clinton can "claim to be a grizzled veteran of rough and tough politics and then cry 'No fair!' when her male opponents fire a few jabs at her." Carlson then said that Clinton "clearly is playing the gender card" and asked MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan, "Does that work?" Buchanan rejected Carlson's assertion, stating, "I don't think she's saying that." Carlson went on to state, "I think whenever she appears tough, I think it's good for her. I think she actually is tough. But the one thing we learned from the Lorena Bobbitt case is there's a great deal of resentment among women aimed at men. That's why Oprah's huge." Carlson continued: "I'm serious. Women are angry at men in a lot of ways. They don't say much about it, but they are. And she's pandering to that resentment and anger, and it's wrong." Nationally syndicated radio host Bill Press responded: "I think men have a reason to be angry at women based on what Lorena Bobbitt did." Carlson replied, "Well, I couldn't agree with you more. No man would ever defend the corollary. But women are like, 'Oh, I understand why Lorena did that.' I mean, they're really mad. And she's taking advantage of it."

In an earlier segment on the program, Carlson had asked National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy, "What about being a woman ... is going to make her [Clinton] a better president?" Gandy replied, "[T]here's no question that women do bring a different life experience to everything that they do," and added, "[F]or women everywhere, the idea of having a woman president ... means something very important to them." Carlson went on to say, "No, but you're using stereotypes about women to her advantage. You're saying. 'Women are a certain way, she is a woman, therefore, vote for her.' You could also say -- why couldn't you take that to the negative side? Maybe I could say, 'Women are too emotional,' or maybe, 'They're bitchy sometimes. Don't vote for her.' But you're not allowed to say that. You can only credit being a woman to the positive side." Carlson later added, "[W]hy not just take gender out of this and fight fair?"

Carlson has previously referred to castration in talking about Clinton. As Media Matters for America documented, Carlson attributed a "castrating" quality to Clinton, stating: "[T]here's just something about her that feels castrating, overbearing, and scary." Further, Carlson has repeatedly said of Clinton: "I cross my legs involuntarily every time she comes on the air."

From the November 1 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:

CARLSON: I'm just confused by the rationale for the Clinton campaign: She's a woman, therefore vote for her. And I've asked this question of many people. Maybe you can answer it. What about being a woman -- specifically related to her sex -- is going to make her a better president?

GANDY: Well, there's no question that women do bring a different life experience to everything --

CARLSON: Right.

GANDY: -- that they do. And the fact that -- even the fact that we have a woman running, a woman front-runner for president, sends a terribly important message to our daughters and to our sons that women can be leaders.

CARLSON: But once you've acknowledged that --

GANDY: And that is so important.

CARLSON: OK, I get that.

GANDY: And for women everywhere, the idea of having a woman president -- not just a woman president, but a woman who will be a terrific president --

CARLSON: But don't you see you've opened yourself up -- now, hold on.

GANDY: -- means something very important to them.

CARLSON: Now that you've conceded that men and women are different and that being a woman is an advantage, you also have to concede that it could be a disadvantage.

GANDY: I said women bring a different life experience --

CARLSON: They bring a different life experience.

GANDY: -- because women are treated differently in this society.

CARLSON: OK, maybe it's good, maybe it's also --

GANDY: And they bring that understanding.

CARLSON: No, but you're using stereotypes about women to her advantage. You're saying. "Women are a certain way, she is a woman, therefore, vote for her." You could also say -- why couldn't you take that to the negative side? Maybe I could say, "Women are too emotional," or maybe, "They're bitchy sometimes. Don't vote for her." But you're not allowed to say that. You can only credit being a woman to the positive side.

GANDY: Of course people are saying that. Lots of people are saying that.

CARLSON: No, she's saying --

GANDY: They're saying, "Oh, the country's not ready for a woman president. I think I'm gonna -- "

CARLSON: But why not just take gender out of this and fight fair? Why not just say, "You know what, it's not about gender."

GANDY: Oh, is that unfair for her to point out that she's woman --

CARLSON: Absolutely. Absolutely.

GANDY: -- is unfair fighting?

CARLSON: Absolutely. Because the expectation --

GANDY: Oh, come on.

CARLSON: I'll tell you exactly why. Because you are seen -- and this has happened in campaigns with her and other female candidates -- you are seen as a bully, as mean, as one of the boys -- as she said in her absurd reference during her speech at Wellesley today -- if you attack her. And shouldn't this be a campaign about ideas and what she stands for, and not about her gender, which she can't control?

[...]

CARLSON: The question is can Hillary claim to be a grizzled veteran of rough and tough politics and then cry "No fair!" when her male opponents fire a few jabs at her. Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan and the nationally syndicated radio talk show host and all-around great guy Bill Press.

PRESS: All right.

CARLSON: Pat, I mean, the obvious question: She clearly is playing the gender card -- "You can't hit a girl." Does that work?

BUCHANAN: I don't think she's saying that. I think what she did was very effective up there at Wellesley. She's going to these gals up there who adore her, and she's saying, in effect, "Look, I'm out there and all the boys piled on me and we're doing just fine. I came out of Wellesley." And they're all enthusiastic. I think, frankly, that solidifies her folks, and she's turning herself into someone who stood up against the whole crowd and handled herself well. Took a couple of shots and came out and is willing to go back. I think, frankly, this is the best day she's had. It wasn't yesterday when she endorsed that --

CARLSON: Interesting. No, that's a totally -- I mean, I think whenever she appears tough, I think it's good for her. I think she actually is tough. But the one thing we learned from the Lorena Bobbitt case is there's a great deal of resentment among women aimed at men. That's why Oprah's huge. I mean, women are angry --

[laughter]

CARLSON: I'm serious. Women are angry at men in a lot of ways. They don't say much about it, but they are.

BUCHANAN: Holy smokes.

CARLSON: And she's pandering to that resentment and anger, and it's wrong.

PRESS: I think men have a reason to be angry at women based on what Lorena Bobbitt did.

CARLSON: Well, I couldn't agree with you more. No man would ever defend the corollary. But women are like, "Oh, I understand why Lorena did that." I mean, they're really mad. And she's taking advantage of it.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Gender, Elections
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Tucker Carlson
Show/Publication
Tucker
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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