On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes asserted that the Tea Party was a "bunch of angry white guys who went around and put up racist signs." As a debate ensued pitting Colmes against the other three panel members, he later defiantly asked, "How many blacks did they elect?" leading Jim Pinkerton of the New America Foundation to fire back: "The Tea Partiers elected two - Allen West and Tim Scott, Florida and South Carolina."
Host Jon Scott began the segment by assuming that the liberal Colmes would not have any complaints about the mainstream media’s coverage of the elections. After Colmes voiced his approval of the media, Scott sarcastically posed: "For instance, the Tea Party. Tea Party always got favorable coverage, right? Or fair coverage?"
Colmes then unleashed on the Tea Party: "Oh, they got, look, the Tea Party was a bunch of angry white guys who went around and put up racist signs at these at, these events on lawn chairs who had nothing better to do on weekends than sit on lawn chairs with signs suggesting Obama was a Muslim who wasn’t born in this country."
The news that it could be a good year for women electorally did not cheer up the likes of MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson and the Politico's Jeanne Cummings, because it turns out it's only going to be a good year for women on the Republican side like Nikki Haley, Meg Whitman, and Carly Fiorina or as Carlson put it: "It's not a compassionate women year." [audio available here]
Matthews, on Monday's Hardball, invited on Carlson and Cummings to take a look at "gender politics" and found that it could be a good year for women, just not the kind of women they like, in other words the more conservative momma grizzly types that Sarah Palin supports. Cummings even bemoaned that a loss of the House could result in "one giant blow to women" in that it "could take down the Speaker, Speaker Nancy Pelosi" who was "a real shining star for the achievements and the rise of women in government."
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the August 30 edition of Hardball:
Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's Hardball, invited on recently defeated Republican Representative Bob Inglis to slam Matthews' favorite targets, namely the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin and after he got the requisite criticisms out of the South Carolina congressman of those entities asked him if he could explain how primary voters from his own party could nominate an Indian-American like Nikki Haley, even though they've "got a problem with a black president?" Matthews, clearly not grasping the concept that perhaps voters in South Carolina could cast their ballot based out of purely ideological and not racial motives, asked Inglis the following question:
How do you figure your state out? It's pretty conservative obviously. It's Strom Thurmond country in many ways and, and it has people like DeMint pretty far over and then people like Lindsey Graham who are sort of regular conservatives. But then you nominated, your party has nominated an Indian-American woman, Nikki Haley. Obviously an attractive candidate, she knows how to present herself obviously, but what's that about? Is that just an interesting little aspect? "It's okay to be Indian-American but we got a problem with this black president?" What's that about? [audio available here]
Before Matthews ended his show on that stumper of a question, he egged on the soon to be former Representative Inglis to attack the Tea Party, Limbaugh and Palin, as seen in the following exchanges that were aired on the July 14 Hardball:
Newsweek on Saturday did an astonishingly poor job of exploring why Republican women are suddenly being attacked for their beauty even suggesting it's all the former governor of Alaska's fault.
"There seems to be an insistent, increasingly excitable focus on the supposed hotness of Republican women in the public eye, like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, and Nikki Haley-not to mention veterans like Ann Coulter," the article now being prominently featured at the magazine's website began.
Hypocritically, Julia Baird's piece never once explained or wondered why the same thing isn't being done to Democrat women.
Instead, the numerous headlines exclusively trivialized physically attractive GOP females such as the following from the website's front page (h/t Twitter's @buszero):
In 1992, the feminists in the media rejoiced at what they called “The Year of the Woman,” when ten Democratic women (and one Republican) were running for the Senate in the aftermath of Anita Hill’s unproven sexual-harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas. Just two years before, seven Republican women (and two Democrats) ran. But the media yawned.
In 1992, the evening newscasts aired 29 stories exclusively devoted to women Senate candidates. In 1990, there was one...on election night. In 1992, the morning shows interviewed women Senate candidates on 26 occasions. In 1990, there were zero interviews.
This was all about the party affiliation. When the liberals Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein both won primary elections from the U.S. Senate in California in 1992, Time reporter Margaret Carlson almost levitated in ecstasy. “There was a rush, an exultation, that surpassed any political moment I have ever known -- better even than Geraldine Ferraro's vice-presidential candidacy."
When’s the last time a journalist referred to Barack Obama as a former “small-time agitator?” That’s exactly how the Washington Post described Republican Nikki Haley in a profile piece on Saturday. A headline for the article by political reporter Philip Rucker critiqued, “Nikki Haley goes from small-time agitator to credible candidate for S.C. governor.”
The piece on the conservative politician also offered this back-handed compliment: “Haley is friendly, and funny in a generic way; yet she keeps her politics from becoming too personal.”
Speaking to Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez, Schieffer ran down the most watched races in Arkansas, California, South Carolina, and Nevada. When he got to South Carolina, he described gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley as "very conservative." After making the 'Desperate Housewives' comparison, he remarked how the GOP primary in the state was "providing some entertainment, as it were, for the rest of the country. I mean, you had Governor Sanford down there and his adventures. And now these allegations against Nikki Haley." He quickly added that the allegations of adultery against Haley were "without foundation" and that "Nobody has proven anything."
Rodriguez then asked if "Harry Reid is happy or fretting the fact" that tea party-backed Sharron Angle won the GOP senate primary in Nevada. Schieffer declared: "I suspect that Democrats in Nevada are very happy about this....I think the Reid people think that he would have a much better chance beating her than some of the other Republicans in the primaries."
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday again highlighted charges of adultery against Republican Nikki Haley. He pressed the South Carolina gubernatorial candidate, demanding to know if she'd embarrass the state with scandal.
After reading a quote from a voter, the former operative to scandal-plagued Bill Clinton fretted, "Can you assure South Carolina voters that they're not going to be embarrassed if they elect you?" [Audio available here.]
The ABC host referenced claims, touted by Republican primary opponents, that she had been unfaithful. Stephanopoulos quoted, "And last night, the man you face in the runoff, Congressman Barrett, said 'Character is not one of the things that matters, it's the only thing that matters.'"
Ex-Clinton operative tuned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Monday touted allegations about a supposed affair between South Carolina's Nikki Haley and a lobbyist. Recounting the details of the charges leveled against the Republican politician, the Good Morning America host marveled, "And down in South Carolina, they can't just seem to get enough of it, in the gubernatorial primary, the leading candidate embroiled in a bit of a sex scandal."
Stephanopoulos and reporter Steve Osunsami engaged in gossip over the accusations. Osunsami warned that one of Haley's accusers is "sharing phone records that he says details conversations he had with Haley at all hours of the night." Stephanopoulos chided, "Yeah. Something like 600 phone conversations. Boy, that state is going through a lot."
It seems rather hypocritical for the GMA host to push this story. When FBI agent Gary Aldrich wrote a damaging book about Bill Clinton in 1996, the then-Democratic operative tried to bully the media into not covering the story.
MSNBC on Friday didn't let lack of proof stand in the way of interviewing a man claiming he had an affair with a conservative favorite, South Carolina gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley. Tamron Hall talked to lobbyist Larry Marchant and announced, "Her campaign is, again, denying a second allegation that Haley, a married mother of two, cheated on her husband."
Hall did conduct a tough interview with Marchant, demanding, "What proof do you have? What proof do you have that you had an affair? She says it didn't happen." The News Live host repeatedly pressed the lobbyist, who was just let go from a position with a competing Republican candidate.
After Marchant offered nothing more than his own word, Hall derided, "Larry, I gotta stop you here because of a couple things. You say you went to dinner and all these other things. That is that's not proof had you a sexual encounter with her." Yet, if the News Live host and the producers at MSNBC found his story to be so lacking, why have him on the network at all?
Clay Waters of MRC's Times Watch project noticed this week that the The New York Times was just as guilty as The Washington Post of jumping on the unsubstantiated adultery charges against female GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley in South Carolina:
[Reporter Shaila] Dewan used the sex scandal of former South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford as an excuse to suggest, without substance like emails or phone messages, that the claims by blogger Will Folks fit a pattern of sexual bad behavior in the Palmetto State: “Scandal Rattles Politics In South Carolina, Again.” The text box to Wednesday's print story worked in the party identification: “A blogger says he had an affair with a G.O.P. candidate for governor.”
The treatment of a fairly obscure Republican politician stands in sharp contrast to the paper's blackout of the amply documented affair of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. The Times totally ignored the Edwards affair until the candidate himself confessed on ABC News, then, when its own public editor criticized the paper's lack of coverage, editors made hypocritical excuses.
Dewan certainly didn't do much hedging around the claims of blogger Will Folks, relaying the accusation with a tone of near-giddiness:
The press routinely flogged itself in the Bill Clinton years for being too quick to acknowledge when women suggested they'd had affairs or been harassed by Clinton. They would have been extremely slow to relay a cheating allegation with no details or proof. So why are national media outlets repeating an unproven adultery allegation....and against a woman? When the guy has a domestic violence record?
Because she's a Republican? In Mark Sanford's South Carolina? Sarah Palin-endorsed South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley has seen an unsubstantiated adultery charge spread by the Associated Press, The Washington Post, Newsday, and CNN, whose Wolf Blitzer ran to the evidence-free story on The Situation Room Monday:
BLITZER: South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, has been the GOP frontrunner, picking up endorsements from Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, and many others. But her campaign has suddenly been rocked by allegations of an extra-marital affair -- charges she's strongly denying.
Our Lisa Sylvester has been looking into all of this for us -- Lisa, tell our viewers what's going on.