OMG!!! Will wonders never cease? This one goes under the category of "even a blind squirrel gets an acorn every once in awhile!!" I must confess to those of you who know me that, OK----true confessions here (I am SO embarrassed!!!)----------I WATCH MSNBC IN THE MORNING (Morning Joe) while I'm working out!! There, I've said it!! And please don't love or hate me for it.
MSNBC and Fox and I have a special relationship. When I was your run-of-the-mill Democrat of 40 years standing, I really loved MSNBC. I felt it was like home base. They said everything I wanted to hear, and I thought it was high time that there was a lefty opinion station for people like me. I'd work out and watch---perfect combination. But as we were leading up to the 2008 presidential race, I underwent my metamorphosis (see the details of that metamorphosis here), and the more that station revealed how sexist it was (see youtubes to the right of the columns for proof of that statement), the more I was too enraged to watch MSNBC anymore. It was too much adrenaline to get a decent workout---I was just furious all of the time. MSNBC was (and still is in my book) one of the biggest purveyors of misogyny around. I just can't stand it!!!
So while I was so furious with MSNBC, I turned my attention to Fox. I wanted the news, and MSNBC and CNN were so tilted in the direction of Obama that I just couldn't watch them. But MSNBC was the worst. Anyways, Fox was my archenemy. I was a good little lefty and we lefties thought Fox was the very devil incarnate. But what choice did I have? So I watched Fox----all of it. I watched Fox and Friends in the morning (LOVE LOVE LOVE Gretchen Carlson), Megyn Kelly (my absolute favorite), Hannity, O'Reilly, and my second fav, Greta Van Susteren. As some of you may know, Greta's husband, John Coale (a wealthy trial lawyer), was another one of us--------------a staunch Hillary supporter who left the Democrats over the sexist, outrageous treatment of Hillary Clinton by Democrats. In fact, although I never met Greta, I spent my fair share of time with her husband at the various events we Hillary/McCain people went to. And then there is Neil----Neil Cavuto, that wonderful wonderful man whose show I've been on 5 times. My friend Thia and I have a longstanding crush on Neil. In my ethnic Jewish dialect, Yiddish, Cavuto is just one fabulous mensch!!!! I ended in fact also being on O'Reilly, Shepherd Smith twice, Fox and Friends three times.
I noticed that first of all that Fox was actually treating Hillary fairly. Go figure!! In my snarky lefty bad old days, I figured that they'd have made mincemeat of her since they'd spent so much time when she and Bill were in the White House demonizing her. HOWEVER, for whatever reason, and I could offer up a few, Fox decided not to rip Hillary to shreds. SO----I found some comfort going to Fox and getting a more accurate read on Hillary. While I was visiting Fox, I discovered a few things-----first, when they were just doing hard news, they were great. I got a very high quality of straight news stories when I watched. Secondly, although I didn't agree with some of their slant, they weren't really slanted hard right. That particular bogeyman is an obsession that the left has with Fox, but it really isn't true. Hannity isn't any further to the right than Ed Schultz is to the left, and I believe that Hannity is the most right of the regular nightly shows. The rest of them are fairly moderate.
But what I really noticed is that Fox had more women in front of the camera. And these women were given free reign to blast sexism wherever they saw it. People like to criticize the women at Fox because they like to call them just a bunch of sexy babes (how sexist is that!!). The women in front of the camera on Fox look terrific. Fox spares little expense to make the women look their absolute best. When I was on camera with them, they always had a fabulous makeup artist team charged with making all of us present our best foot forward. And even when I'd be on from a studio here in Columbus, OH, they'd hire a makeup artist who'd be with me to make me look as good as I could look on camera. ABC didn't do that for me nor did most of the other networks. So what's wrong with being easy on the eyes?
But these women at Fox weren't just hired for their good looks-----they were smart!! Lots of lawyers like Megyn Kelly and even a Miss America with BRAINS, Gretchen Carlson, a summa cum laude graduate of Stanford. But what I have loved about these women is they just BLAST AWAY at any sexism that comes up. They call it out, define it, and chew the comments and their purveyors to shreds. People who don't like Fox like to be cynical and say that it's only done because it's just good TV or "everyone knows the right is the most sexist of all," or give other reasons. Fill in the blanks. But it doesn't matter why they do it------THEY'RE DOING IT!!!! And that is good news for all of us.
Anyways, I left MSNBC for awhile (and I refused to make any appearances on it either) and licked my wounds watching Fox gaining a new appreciation for it. After the election, even though I was no longer a Democrat, I decided that while I worked out in the morning, I should probably check out what MSNBC was up to. I work out alot. I'm a senior jock and I do triathlons. I even won 6th place at the 2007 National Senior Olympics in the triathlon. I wasn't able to participate in the past 2 National Games because of a bad sprain in 2009 and my breast cancer for the 2011 games. But my goal is to win a gold medal in the 2013 National Games in Cleveland, so I work out alot. I'm about to turn 59, and you can lose your conditioning very fast at this age and it can be harder to get back. So like I said, my mornings are devoted to my training. Which means lots of TV!!
I go back and forth between Fox and Friends and MSNBC's Morning Joe. I am constantly struck by the fact that MSNBC is STILL purveying its brand of sexism-----even now. The praise for Obama has surely died down, but not the sexism. And the sexism comes from the women as well as the men. Usually on Morning Joe, the talkers around the table are mostly men most of the time. Not ALL of the time. I mean, in the course of the three-hour show you will have segments with two women, occasionally three women. But mostly it is men. I couldn't accurately give you a percentage, but I'd guess that it is at minimum 3 to 1 men to women, and that's probably optimistic.
Yesterday, on August, 29, 2011, I about fell off my elliptical when I heard MIKA BRZEZINSKI defend Michele Bachmann!!! Imagine that!!!!Many of us Hillary supporters have felt very negatively toward Mika because we felt she just let all of the sexism going on on her show just slide by without saying anything. People wonder why women in her position, who have the power and the microphone to change things for women, don't use their opportunities for the good of all of us. But after watching her on August 29th, I can begin to understand why. And I can begin to understand why women who DO make it to the top find it so hard to lift up the rest of us when the number of the women at the top is so small. This situation on August 29 was a metaphor for all of our efforts wherever we find ourselves. Here we go.....
Joe Scarborough and the men on the panel were snarking about Michele Bachmann. They were saying that she was just acting like a diva not wanting to greet the public because her makeup just wasn't right and making everyone wait. Well, MIKA speaks up and says to these men that although Mika doesn't agree with most of Bachmann's positions, these men were going way over the line in going after her that way!!! I couldn't believe it!!! YES-----Mika defended Michele!!!! Will wonders never cease???? But the problem was that Mika by her lonesome against these 6 or so men just got drowned out by the men lead by Scarborough deriding her for even bringing it up and drowning her out and that was the end of that.
Its funny, my real reasons for writing this piece were that whenever we speak out against sexism, we always have to preface our remarks with "well even though I don't agree with much of what she stands for" in order to deal with some of the blowback, just like Brzezinski did. And often even when we DO bring it up, people just talk us down like what happened to Mika. I think you can all agree that it isn't easy speaking up against sexism. It requires some intestinal fortitude------lots of it in fact. But there are some great people out there doing it very publicly-------Megyn Kelly, Kristen Powers, Greta Van Susteren, Gretchen Carlson. And now we can add Mika Brzezinski to that list. She's not as practiced as the other women, but she's trying. And at a sexist place like MSNBC, it is courageous of her to even try to speak up occasionally. Ironic isn't it how it is the evil right-wing Fox who has all of the fierce lionesses fighting the sexist evil every single day with great fortitude, and it is the "good for women" lefty station that ignores, diminishes, and roadblocks women who speak up. Hmmmm. didn't mean to write the piece this way, but there you have it.
All of us need to speak up every day against the endemic sexism in our culture whenever it rears its ugly head. We need to become expert at doing it, even if it means standing alone sometimes. Cause if we don't do it, no one will. To paraphrase Moses Maimonides, if not us, who? If not now, when? Go for it ladies and gentlemen------we can make a huge difference!!!!