Sarah Palin, Ed Schultz and Civility

I made the mistake a few months ago during a dinner Inside the Beltway of asking why liberal women believe so strongly that conservative women are stupid? That question generated some polite smiles but no real answers. Still, since most at the dinner were liberal women (and men) the question went over like a fart in church.

I thought about that yesterday while chasing the treadmill and watching accounts of the Ed Schultz implosion. Schultz, a liberal Talking Head, called Laura Ingraham, a conservative Talking Head, a “right-wing slut.” Ouch.

Schultz later apologized and received one week in the cable TV penalty box from MSNBC.  And Ingraham didn’t appear to get her shorts in that big a knot over the description.

But what would have happened if a conservative gasbag made the same comment about a liberal woman? Just to make it interesting, let’s say Michelle Obama.

Here’s an interesting story by Noel Sheppard on News Busters, “Ingraham:If Conservative Called Liberal Woman What Schultz Called Me He’d Be Fired“:

One of the startlingly inconvenient truths about America is the double standard by which conservative women can be treated by the media compared to their liberal sisters.


In America, liberal women and liberal minorities are a protected class. A conservative deigns to say anything derogatory about them even in jest does so at his or her peril.

But conservative women and minorities can be ridiculed with almost total impunity.

Consider what the left has done to Sarah Palin since the moment she was named as John McCain’s running mate in August 2008. There’s no chance a liberal woman would have been treated this way.

Quite the contrary, if Palin was a Democrat governor named as Barack Obama’s running mate, she would have been put on a pedestal by the same folks that mercilessly ridiculed her including Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric, and Tina Fey.

Condoleezza Rice is another example of a conservative woman who would be exceedingly revered and esteemed by America’s media if she was a liberal. Since she’s not, it’s completely acceptable for her to be trashed by all comers.

As further evidence of the double standard, consider that in 2007, radio’s Don Imus made a joke about a group of black, female, college basketball players that most of the nation likely never heard of. Within days, he was fired.

Four years later, a liberal radio host made a highly derogatory slur about a conservative woman – not in a joking fashion, mind you, but quite seriously – and he got suspended for a week while the ladies of ABC’s “The View” joked about how his offense was really nothing to take too seriously.

This certainly wouldn’t have been the case if Ingraham was a liberal.

Tough to imagine this double standard exists in the year 2011, isn’t it?

Well, no. Not really, especially since cable TV and shows like The View encourage and thrive on a total lack of civility.

Anyway, I guess I wasn’t all that stupid for asking that question of my dinner companions Inside the Beltway.

As we move toward the 2012 race for the White House, Michele Bachmann is expected to run and she should do well in the early primaries in Iowa and elsewhere.

And Sarah Palin is signaling that she may get into the race as well. She’s going to spend part of her Memorial Day weekend hitting the road on a national bus tour. First stop: New Hampshire.

The knock on both Palin and Bachmann from liberals, of course, is that they’re stupid.

We’ll see.

Enjoy the holiday weekend.


2 responses to “Sarah Palin, Ed Schultz and Civility

  1. Maybe it’s my own background as what could probably be considered a, “liberal woman,” but I think that each side has their own points of ridicule? And there were many who were on Sarah Palin’s case solely due to her lack of experience, and I think that theoretical scenario presented with her as Obama’s running mate would have had the exact same backlash, especially considering that Obama was new and young too. It probably would have discredited him as a candidate altogether.

    And getting down on cable TV and shows like The View seems a little backwards as well, since most people go to things like that not for news, but for opinion and entertainment. These sources aren’t the place you go to for objective reporting. And there is a place in which you can find anyone being ridiculed, regardless of political standing. MSNBC might put the democratic side of the story out, while FOX news is going to put out the conservative side. Nobody is safe just based on a single attribute.

  2. First off, in this society if you are a woman, liberal or conservative, and you are trying to fill a seat of power someone isn’t going to like it. Woman have come a long way but the fight isn’t over. There are some good examples of conservative woman not getting as fair treatment as liberal woman but those are only a few examples. There are plenty of examples of both liberal and conservative woman being treated unfairly.
    I think instead of worrying about who is blue and who is red we should remember that we are all fighting for the same team. We all want woman to have equal rights and to be treated the same as men. So instead of pointing out when the political woman we support don’t get treated fairly and pointing out when the other side is. We should look at all the cases of woman being treated unfairly and work together instead of against each other just because of our different views.
    I don’t think that conservative woman have it any harder than liberal woman by any means. I feel as though this blog just shows one side of the story. One thing is for sure, there has to be something to change this.

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