Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Media Double Standard


Remember almost four years ago, when Don Imus was hounded off the air and suspended for two weeks for calling some players of the Rutgers University Women's Basketball team "nappy-headed hos." Was it a smart thing to say? Nope. Was it a funny thing to say? Probably not. Should Imus have been suspended? Yeah, I think so. Imus is back on the air and I think he has learned a lesson-but whom am I to know.

When Imus said what he said, the liberal left was all up in arms. There were calls for him to be fired, including calls by one would-be president junior Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama, who at the time opposed Imus returning to the air. CBS and MSNBC stopped carrying Imus in the Morning, but eventually Imus returned to the air.

So why rehash all this history? Because Bill Maher should be taken off the air for terms more derogatory, more insensitive and demeaning to more than a dozen young women who probably shouldn't have been insulted by Imus, but had. Bill Maher has called former Governor Sarah Palin and U.S. Representative Michelle Bachman, names that SHOULD make everyone's blood boil, having called the two conservative women "dumb twats," "bimbos" and "cunt." The Daily Caller's Amy Siskind writes:
Mr. Maher’s most recent string of vulgar comments has little to do with political party, and everything to do with his utter contempt for women.

Mr. Maher’s use of the terms dumb twat, bimbos, and cunt hurts not only Rep. Bachmann and Gov. Palin, but each and every mother, daughter and wife.

Mr. Maher’s statements reveal his belief that rather than criticizing or questioning a woman on her positions or ideas, it is acceptable and appropriate to demean and diminish her by sexualizing her or presuming that, because she’s a woman, she’s unintelligent.

But while the National Organization for Women has criticized Maher for his statements, there does not seem to be a lot of calls to push the "comedian" off the air. Maher was almost fired by HBO for referring to Hillary Clinton's lady parts in a derogatory fashion. (Note: Maher didn't call Hillary Clinton the c-word, only referred to it as somehow worth more money that seeing Janet Jackson's nipple) If it was almost a firing offense to do it once, why isn't a repeat of the offense a firing offense?

The lack of truly public outcry for Maher's ouster is indicates yet another media double standard. It is not okay to call young black women "hos" but is it okay to call conservative, elected leaders and former elected leaders "bimbos" and "dumb twats" and worse. Good to now that the media has standards, that HBO has standards and that Bill Maher can be insulting to women in such a public and personal manner and still collect a paycheck.

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