MSNBC's Carlson mocked Clinton for her comments about gender discrimination

››› ››› BRIAN FREDERICK

After airing a video clip of Sen. Hillary Clinton talking about "gender equality" during a Democratic presidential candidates debate, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson stated: "It takes a lot of guts for a rich, privileged white lady who is one of the most powerful people in the world to claim that she is a victim of gender discrimination."

On the January 22 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson responded to a video clip of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) speaking about "gender equality" during the January 21 Democratic presidential candidates debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, by stating, "It takes a lot of guts for a rich, privileged white lady who is one of the most powerful people in the world to claim that she is a victim of gender discrimination." Carlson then asked his guest, former White House counsel Lanny Davis, "Can you believe she said that?" In the clip, Clinton stated:

CLINTON: We obviously still have problems of gender equality. You know, equal pay is not yet equal.

[...]

CLINTON: A woman makes 77 cents on a dollar and women of color make 67 cents. So there is a big agenda waiting for the Democratic Party. And we feel so passionately about this because we not only are running for office, but we each in our own way have lived it. We have seen it. We have understood the pain and the injustice that has come because of race, because of gender.

Davis responded to Carlson by stating, "Well, first of all, she's a role model for a lot of women who have experienced discrimination. I remember Hillary when she was one of the few women at Yale Law School, an all-male, fairly egotistical environment. And as a woman she has had to struggle her way through both law firms as well as her career." Carlson then stated:

CARLSON: But you just said she went to Yale Law School. So that's almost a self-canceling sentence. She's a victim of discrimination at Yale Law School? She's one of, you know, 100th of 1 percent of Americans, much less people who live in the rest of the world, who gets to go to Yale Law School. She hasn't driven her own car in almost 20 years and she's a victim of discrimination? I mean can't we both agree that's just BS?

Responding to Carlson's claim about Yale Law School, Davis said: "The fact that we have a disagreement about being one of the few women at Yale Law School and actually not only surviving all those male egos, but doing very well there, I always appreciated. I think most women watching your program know what I'm talking about." Describing her own experience at Yale in her autobiography, Living History (Simon & Schuster, June 2003), Clinton wrote, "When I entered Yale Law School in the fall of 1969, I was one of twenty-seven women out of 235 students to matriculate. This seems like a paltry number now, but it was a breakthrough at the time and meant that women would no longer be token students at Yale."

In his biography of Hillary Clinton, A Woman in Charge (Alfred A. Knopf, June 2007), Carl Bernstein wrote that following former President Bill Clinton's failed run to represent Arkansas' 3rd Congressional District, "Their grand vision seemed to be derailed, and she was left with choices she had not wanted to face: remain with the man she loved or strike out on her own, either in New York, practicing law (which meant yet another bar exam to study for) or moving back to Washington, which, compared with Manhattan or even Cambridge, was still tea-pouring country when it came to welcoming strong, able professional women" (emphasis added).

Following Bill Clinton's election as governor of Arkansas in 1979, the Clintons moved to Little Rock. Here is how Bernstein described Little Rock at the time:

Little Rock was a state capital but not really a big city, "an insulated big town, a place that ran according to unwritten rules," in the words of its mayor from 1979 to 1981, Webb Hubbell. He noted that "Rule I might well have been: Little Rock women don't have careers."

After her arrival in Little Rock, Clinton interviewed with Rose Law Firm. Describing her potential hiring by the firm, Bernstein wrote:

But the most powerful and hushed argument against Hillary joining the firm was that she was a woman. "How will we introduce her to our clients" an associate asked Foster and Hubbell. All of Rose's important clients were male. "What if she gets pregnant?" The firm's partners were all white men, most of whom were already wealthy and graduates of the two Arkansas law schools. Hillary, with her Wellesley and Yale credentials and her view of the law as an instrument for social reform, would be a radical departure."

According to Living History, Clinton was hired by the firm and became the only female among the firm's 16 lawyers.

From the January 22 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:

CARLSON: I want to play what I thought was the least-noticed and yet maybe most remarkable line of last night, of the whole thing, more than two hours. This is Hillary Clinton at the very end of the debate explaining why she is a victim. Watch this.

[begin video clip]

CLINTON: We obviously still have problems of gender equality. You know, equal pay is not yet equal.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL): Right.

CLINTON: A woman makes 77 cents on a dollar and women of color make 67 cents. So there is a big agenda waiting for the Democratic Party. And we feel so passionately about this because we not only are running for office, but we each in our own way have lived it. We have seen it. We have understood the pain and the injustice that has come because of race, because of gender.

[end video clip]

CARLSON: "Each in our own way has lived it." It takes a lot of guts for a rich, privileged white lady who is one of the most powerful people in the world to claim that she is a victim of gender discrimination. Can you believe she said that?

DAVIS: Well, first of all, she's a role model for a lot of women who have experienced discrimination. I remember Hillary when she was one of the few women at Yale Law School, an all-male, fairly egotistical environment. And as a woman she has had to struggle her way through both law firms as well as her career.

CARLSON: Wait. Lanny, Lanny, Lanny, I don't -- I mean, look, I know you're trying. But you just said she went to Yale Law School. So that's almost a self-canceling sentence. She's a victim of discrimination at Yale Law School? She's one of, you know, 100th of 1 percent of Americans, much less people who live in the rest of the world, who gets to go to Yale Law School. She hasn't driven her own car in almost 20 years and she's a victim of discrimination? I mean can't we both agree that's just BS?

DAVIS: The fact that we have a disagreement about being one of the few women at Yale Law School and actually not only surviving all those male egos, but doing very well there, I always appreciated. I think most women watching your program know what I'm talking about.

But the big picture last night [laughter] -- maybe you don't, but I think most women do.

CARLSON: Look, OK. What you're saying -- look, let me just say, if Americans believe that Hillary Clinton --again, one of the most privileged people on planet Earth -- is a victim, I don't know this country as well as I thought I did. I mean, maybe you can sell that, maybe you can't.

DAVIS: Well, victim's your word. I think she talked about women of color earning 67 cents out of every dollar compared to black men and women who are white earning 74 cents or 73 cents out of every dollar. Every woman watching this program knows that there isn't a level playing field as there isn't a level playing field for African-Americans. I think it is an absolute miracle that the Democratic Party has two such strong candidates, one who's a woman, one who's an African-American.

CARLSON: Well, considering America is so sexist and racist as you've just said, she's done pretty well. I guess that is a miracle.

DAVIS: And so has Barack Obama. And I don't think we're sexist and racist. I think there's a reality in the marketplace and that's a reality.

CARLSON: OK. OK. Well, that's -- no, but that's what you're saying. Is we're sexist. The mean white men are being mean again, not surprisingly.

DAVIS: You use words I never use, Tucker.

CARLSON: Come on, that's what you're saying.

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