Friday, March 16, 2007

Hillary-Bashing in the Media

It's boring for me, because it's very early days in this game and I can't quite see what cards the Hillary-bashers might be holding up their sleeves. Maybe the idea is to get us so used to the misogyny and the Bill-hating that we would never, ever push the button for her.

Note carefully that what I'm talking about here is not Hillary Clinton's political views or plans. Those are fair game for attacking, analyzing and discussing. I'm talking about this stuff:

On the March 15 edition of NBC's Today, co-host Meredith Vieira asked Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Barack Obama (IL) about "the marriage factor" in the 2008 election, saying that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) "all married multiple times." She added, "Plus, [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY] has had her marriage troubles as well."

Vieira's reference to Clinton in the same question as Giuliani, McCain, and Gingrich (here and here) suggests that Clinton's "marriage factor" issues are comparable to those of the Republican presidential candidates, overlooking the obvious difference: Giuliani, McCain, and Gingrich themselves have histories of extramarital relationships, while in Clinton's case, it is the conduct of her spouse to which Vieira was presumably referring.

Or this stuff:

From the March 15 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: I don't want to sound like the old ball-and-chain guy, but Hillary Clinton cannot be elected president because -- am I wrong in feeling, am I the only one in America that feels this way? -- that there's something about her vocal range. There's something about her voice that just drives me -- it's not what she says, it's how she says it. She is like the stereotypical -- excuse the expression, but this is the way to -- she's the stereotypical bitch, you know what I mean? She's that stereotypical, nagging, [unintelligible], you know what I mean? And she doesn't have to be saying -- she could be saying happy things, but after four years, don't you think every man in America will go insane? Is it just me? I mean, I know this is horrible to say, but I mean it not -- I would say this if she were Condi Rice and she sounded like that. Condi Rice doesn't have that grate to her voice. You know what I need to do? I need to talk to a vocal expert, because there is a range in women's voices that experts say is just the chalk, I mean, the fingernails on the blackboard. And I don't know if she's using that range or what it is, but I've heard her in speeches where I can't take it.

Wouldn't it be a fascinating experiment to take these two quotes and then to apply them to president Bush? We would dig up events from Laura's history and we would use them against George, as if George had carried them out himself. Then we would point out that George is cross-eyed and has a voice which makes some of us run screaming from the room when the television has been accidentally left on when he speaks. And then we would point out that we have had six years of this already.