Liz Cheney on Tuesday night badly lost her renomination bid in Congress, getting trounced by over 37 points. Journalists have been eagerly cheering Cheney 2.0 as the GOP’s Joan of Arc, willing to be burned at the political stake for principles. Just prior to the election, NBC compared her to Obi-Wan Kenobi facing off against the evil Darth Vader.
But a simple look into history shows that journalistic love for a Republican is entirely dependent on how useful that person is to liberal press. In the past, the news and entertainment media despised the “toxic” “daughter of Dracula,” freely using sexist language to mock the child of Dick Cheney.
Here’s the worst examples.
Sexism Against Liz Cheney? It Was Okay Back Then
Now that Cheney is a hero in the media, it would be misogynistic to dismiss the Congresswoman for her ex-Vice President father. But in years past? It was fine.
In 2010, then-MSNBC host Ed Schultz wouldn’t judge Liz Cheney on her own merits. Instead, he used sexist language: Here he is on September 29, 2010: “There's a couple of gals who've been riding the wave of crazy that's been sweeping the nation's right-wingers: ‘Shooter's little girl, Liz Cheney, has been hitting the lecture circuit, parroting daddy's fear-mongering rhetoric.”
On the March 4, 2010 edition of Hardball, Chris Matthews huffed that Liz Cheney was nothing more than the “daughter of Dracula.” It must be pointed out, in 2020, Matthews would abruptly retire after accusations of “objectifying and belittling” women.
Shooting Liz Cheney in the Face? Hollywood Found It Funny
Hollywood loves Liz Cheney now. As NewsBusters editor Tim Graham noted in an August 10 column, Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg donated $43,000 to her current reelection campaign. But a few years ago, it was okay to joke about killing her. On the September 27, 2016 episode of the Fox show Scream Queens, one of the characters recounted a hunting trip and shooting Liz Cheney. Here’s the exchange:
“CHAD”: All of a sudden, Liz Cheney pops out. And I think she was, like, peeing. Anyway, Randal lowers his shotgun, shoots her right in the face. Boom!
“MUNSCH”: Hope she was okay. No, I don't. She's awful.
In 2022, Hollywood and the liberal media would call this kind of “joke” a sexist hate crime.
The “Odious” and “Toxic” Liz
In 2022, MSNBC journalists approvingly quoted Liz Cheney for her role in the January 6 Hearings. But back in 2013, host Chris Hayes flat-out hated her. Talking about Cheney’s ultimately-failed run for Senate on July 17, 2013, he seethed, “Ms. Cheney is truly one of the most odious presences in American politics today.” Displaying the casual sexism okay only for Republican women, Hayes dismissed the female Cheney because of her dad:
Now, whatever you think about her father, you got to allow Dick Cheney this. He came about his infamy honestly. He is a real up by the bootstraps kind of villain. But Liz Cheney is the knockoff version. She's a legacy case, a toxic example of what affirmative action for over privileged white people looks like.
Liz Cheney Was “Divisive” and Started a “Family Feud” Over Gay Marriage
In 2014, Cheney briefly ran for a Wyoming Senate seat. That she was challenging an incumbent Republican Senator deserved coverage. But instead, the networks bashed Liz Cheney for her “divisive” family feud with her sister Mary Cheney over gay marriage.
On the January 6, 2014 (the day Cheney's campaign ended) CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford again quoted Mary Cheney publicly lecturing, “You're just wrong, and on the wrong side of history." On the same day’s Today show, Kelly O'Donnell opined, "Her campaign was brief and divisive.” She added, “But then her campaign exposed a stunningly public family feud over same-sex marriage, when sister Mary Cheney, and Mary's wife Heather Poe, criticized Liz's opposition to gay marriage.”
On ABC's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos saw the primary campaign against incumbent conservative Mike Enzi as one that “has caused a lot of controversy, sparked a family feud.”
In the days and weeks going forward, journalists will likely portray Liz Cheney as a hero for justice. But just a few short years ago, these same reporters hammered her with nasty, sometimes sexist, language.