Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Joe Scarborough is a sexist, homophobic moron

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Via Media Matters:

During the March 31 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist repeatedly mocked Sen. Barack Obama's bowling performance -- which Scarborough called "dainty" -- at a March 29 campaign stop at Pleasant Valley Lanes in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Deriding Obama's score, he said: "You know Willie, the thing is, Americans want their president, if it's a man, to be a real man." Scarborough added, "You get 150, you're a man, or a good woman," to which Geist replied, "Out of my president, I want a 150, at least."

Later in the show, after NBC political analyst Harold Ford Jr. said that Obama's bowling showed a "humble" and "human" side to him, Scarborough replied, "A very human side? A prissy side."

Right, because bowling is the true test not just of a president but of a man.

(And because all-American guys like Scarborough (Chris Matthews is another one) want a president on whom they can have a full-out man-crush.)

Note the language here. Obama was "dainty" and "prissy," and certainly not "a man." In other words, he was feminine. More to the point, he was gay. This is the language of the right, the "denigration of the female" (as our new contributor LindaBeth put it in a brilliant post a couple of months ago on the use of the word "pussy"). The right uses it to denigrate its political opponents, and they are using it, and will continue to use it, against Obama. The race card will be played, too -- and, make no mistake about it, appeals to racism still work -- but race as a political weapon is problematic and can only be used covertly, directed at specific audiences under the radar of the mainstream media. Sexism is another matter, especially sexism tinged with homophobia, which is what Scarborough's comments were all about. (Note that scoring a 150 makes you either a man or a good woman. This is how sexists like Scarborough view women, with utter condescension: a good woman is just an average man.)

So expect more of this -- much more. It will be a persistent line of attack on Obama.

The right, after all, likes leaders like Bush, jockish and "manly," good at bowling and throwing out ceremonial first pitches and swilling beer. Despite his age, McCain fits in there nicely. As for Obama, well, he may be in a great shape, and he may be good at, you know, real sports (i.e., not bowling), but he's a bit too brainy and well-spoken for the right's liking. So why not use any and every occasion to question his manhood, liken him to a woman, and essentially call him a faggot?

It's what plays with the Republican base. Hey, it's what plays with Republicans generally.

And it's what provides ample cover for the man-crushing Joe Scarboroughs of the world.

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  • It will be interesting to see how Obama avoids falling into the same identity traps that Kerry fell into. The fact that Joe Scarborough even has his own show, let alone gets ratings, is a sad indicator of our cultural state of affairs.

    And is there anyone that doesn't know that real sports preclude the ability to eat nachos and drink beer while engaging in them?

    By Blogger slag, at 11:16 AM  

  • And this is the icing on the cake, really:

    Matthews on last night's Hardball: “You know, Michelle — and this gets very ethnic, but the fact that he’s good at basketball doesn’t surprise anybody.”

    Think Progress has the video posted.

    And your assessment, "a good woman is just an average man" couldn't be better put.

    And to think that feminism gets declared dead and irrelevant year, after year, after year. sigh.

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 12:30 PM  

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