Topic: Media Research Center
An April 15 MRC Culture & Media Institute article by Jeff Poor and Colleen Raezler (also posted at NewsBusters) criticizes the "liberal media’s disdain for conservative women," specifically attacking MSNBC for apologizing over slights toward Hillary Clinton and other liberal women but claims it has a "strategy" of "insult, insult, insult" toward conservative women and hurling "belittling, degrading, sexist comments" toward them. Raezler's evidence is a little thin -- they have decided, for instance, that Chris Matthews' description of Sarah Palin as a "fire breather" meant that he was calling her a dragon (even though the dictionary definition of the word says nothing about dragons).Further, Poor and Raezler baselessly suggested that political criticism of Palin is equivalent to sexist remarks; they write that "Following the vice-presidential debate on MSNBC’s Oct. 2, Matthews referred to Palin’s camera demeanor as a 'dolt,'" but as the NewsBusters item to which Raezler links makes clear, Matthews was referring to Palin's habit of addressing the camera instead of the audience or the interviewer, which is in no way a "sexist" criticism.
Poor and Raezler's outrage over sexist remarks, however, end when conservatives are making them and liberal women are the targets.
A search of the CMI database found no examples whatsoever by Raezler, Poor, or any other CMI employee expressing criticism of sexist remarks made by Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage-- two conservatives with long histories of making "belittling, degrading, sexist comments" toward liberal women.
Raezler and Poor complained that MSNBC made "cartoonish characterizations of courageous, intelligent and strong women," but it's clear that they don't consider liberal women to be courageous, intelligent or strong. Raezler quotes "Colleen Holmes, executive director of the conservative Eagle Forum," as saying, "Michelle Malkin summarized it perfectly when she noted that the liberals have a tendency to infantilize, sexualize, demonize and dehumanize conservative women." Apparently, calling Nancy Pelosi "mussolini in a skirt," as Savage has done, is not demonizing or dehumanizing.
Raezler and Poor need to hold their own side accountable for its sexist rhetoric before they have any credibility with which to criticize the rhetoric of others.
UPDATE: Savage calls a CNN female reporter "a self-hating white woman, who couldn't get a job as a hooker." Is that demonizing and dehumanizing enough to move Poor and Raezler to criticism, or do they think such criticism is justibiable because the reporter can be dismissed as a liberal?
UPDATE 2: Raezler and Poor also referenced a previous CMI report on coverage of Sarah Palin -- also co-written by Raezler -- to claim that "it's not just MSNBC who has treated conservative women in this manner." As we detailed at the time of that report's release, its main complaint was that news reports on Palin didn't uncritically repeat McCain campaign talking points.