During a panel discussion about the Michele Bachmann Newsweek cover, left-wing advertising executive Donny Deutsch acknowledged that "It is politically biased," but didn't see any problem with that: "Who says the media's not biased?...Why can't they make a statement? Obviously that was a real picture...It's not a flattering article....why can't you write an unflattering biased article?"
The discussion actually began with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, someone just as liberal as Deutsch, denouncing the Newsweek cover: "Sexist, ridiculous, not fair. The inside copy, the word 'rage' is never used....She is charismatic and engaging and this made her look cruel and mean." Snyderman even preemptively declared: "And Donny Deutsch can say whatever he wants, but he's wrong."
While Deutsch freely admitted the liberal magazine's political bias against Bachmann, he denied any sexism was involved: "It has nothing to do with her sexuality, it has to do with her political standing."
The third panelist was legal analyst Star Jones, who dismissed the entire controversy: "I just want people to suck it up. She is a women running for president. It's the big job. Not running to be on television, running for president. Suck it up, man up, put your big girl pumps on."
Before moving on to a new topic with the panel, co-host Savannah Guthrie argued: "I would just say that newspapers have a long history of picking unflattering portraits....I mean, they showed Tim Geithner the other day with his head – in a scowl when the markets crashed."
Jones chimed in: "They had the President with the swimming trunks on one of the – one of the national magazines for goodness sake." A picture which the media gushed over, including on Today, when co-host Matt Lauer declared: "Fit to serve, Barack Obama photographed shirtless in Hawaii and a lot of women are giving him the presidential seal of approval."
Here is a transcript of the August 11 panel discussion on Today:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Time now for another installment of 'Today's Professionals.' That's right, our panel of power players is back. And here to break down the hottest headlines, surveys, and studies making news, Star Jones is an attorney, author, and TV personality. Donny Deutsch is chairman of Deutsche Incorporated, a multibillion dollar advertising agency. But wait, there's more. Dr. Nancy Snyderman is a head and neck surgeon. Take that. And NBC's chief medical editor. Good morning to all of you smarties.
STAR JONES: Good morning.
GUTHRIE: Let's talk about Newsweek's cover of Michele Bachmann. She's the Republican presidential candidate who's getting a lot of momentum in Iowa right now and that is the cover shot they chose, with the headline, 'The Queen of Rage.' This raised a lot of eyebrows, Dr. Nancy's among them. You think this is sexist?
NANCY SNYDERMAN: Sexist, ridiculous, not fair. The inside copy, the word 'rage' is never used. And there's an isolated picture of her standing in a room that looks like the Oval Office and it looks like she's crying and isolated. She is charismatic and engaging and this made her look cruel and mean. And Donny Deutsch can say whatever he wants, but he's wrong.
GUTHRIE: Wait a minute, there is a long history of-
JONES: You're going to be ticked at me.
DONNY DEUTSCH: Whoa, whoa, time out here for a second.
JONES: Dr. Nancy's going to be ticked at me.
DEUTSCH: It is politically biased, not racially – I mean, not sexually biased.
DEUTSCH: By the way, I could show you an old cover of-
GUTHRIE: So you agree it's biased?
DEUTSCH: Well, but who says the media's not biased? I can show you an old cover of Newt Gingrich with hair coming out of his nose.
SNYDERMAN: But you know what? But here's why that's important-
DEUTSCH: Let me finish here. Why can't they make a statement? Obviously that was a real picture and they didn't air touch her. It's not a flattering article. By the way, why can't you write an unflattering biased article? It has nothing to do with her sex.
JONES: They do it all the time.
SNYDERMAN: The article does not match the headline nor did it match the picture.
DEUTSCH: Either way, it has nothing to do with her sexuality, it has to do with her political standing.
SNYDERMAN: And you know what? It also – and I have to say, as someone who really defends mainstream media a lot, it leads right into and gives credence to the left bias in media.
JONES: I just want people to suck it up. She is a women running for president. It's the big job. Not running to be on television, running for president. Suck it up, man up, put your big girl pumps on.
SNYDERMAN: But she hasn't complained.
JONES: And this – wait a minute-
DEUTSCH: You're also being sexist, because if it was a man we wouldn't even be talking about it.
JONES: But women need to stop with the, 'Oh, they're picking on me because I'm a woman.'
GUTHRIE: Okay, but by the way – yeah.
JONES: If you want to be in the game-
SNYDERMAN: Sorry, wrong.
JONES: -put your big girl pumps on and get in the game.
GUTHRIE: Alright, in fairness, Michele Bachmann did not complain about this cover.
SNYDERMAN: She did not.
JONES: But women all over America who are professionals are the ones I'm also talking about.
DEUTSCH: She's right.
JONES: We have to step it up. We cannot expect to play on an even playing field if every time it looks like they make us cry or they make us emotional, we whine. No whining.
DEUTSCH: By the way, as the man between the two women, I give points to Star.
SNYDERMAN: Well, she's – you're both wrong.
DEUTSCH: I love you like a sister. But okay.
SNYDERMAN: But when Hillary cries, she gets slammed. John Boehner cries repeatedly, and it's like, 'oh well.'
DEUTSCH: I puke when John Boehner cries., but go on.
GUTHRIE: Alright, but I would just say that newspapers have a long history of picking unflattering portraits.
DEUTSCH: Of course, and so does TV.
GUTHRIE: I mean, they showed Tim Geithner the other day with his head – in a scowl when the markets crashed.
JONES: They had the President with the swimming trunks on one of the – one of the national magazines for goodness sake.