Last night on "Countdown," Keith Olbermann named conservative blogger Michelle Malkin the second-worst person in the world for her work on the now-infamous "Obama song" sung by children at a New Jersey school. Malkin apparently fingered the wrong woman for having written the song and posted about her, resulting in the woman receiving death threats and harassment.
One can say a lot of things about Michelle Malkin's politics, her tactics, her strained relationship with reality and her commenters' propensity to embody the worst of the Internet. Or you could do what Keith Olbermann did.
Olbermann starts with a recitation of Malkin's emails, belittling her voice and putting on a "Valley Girl" accent–i.e., an unintelligent female voice. But it's only after that unfortunate display of sexism that Olbermann hits it out of the misogynist park. He said:
[Malkin's] total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred, without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.
For the record, on average, once every 24 minutes in this country, a woman does become a "mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it." Nearly 1.3 million American woman will be a victim of domestic violence this year, and one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
A liberal, progressive critique of Malkin need not and should not resort to an attack on her looks or her gender or rely on silly stereotypes or imagery that brings to mind victims of domestic violence.
By attacking MIchelle Malkin's politics with an assault on women of every political persuasion, and then indicating a desire to see her physically harmed, a person might understandably get the idea that Keith Olbermann only respects women if they agree with him.
And if they don't? They're obviously just stupid Valley girls who deserve a good beating.
Now, I've taken Olbermann to task a few times in the past. I think he does go overboard in his criticisms at times, and he does take them a little too far. I also agree the "mashed up bag of meat with lipstick" remark is slightly sexist and a bit over the top.
But Megan Carpenter is being truly insulting to more women than Olbermann.
First of all, Olbermann does "rudimentary" imitations of a lot of people. And like it or not, Malkin actually sounds like a Valley Girl. So does Ann Coulter, and he's been "imitating" her that for years. I've never heard a peep out of anyone since he's been imitating Bill O'Reilly as "Ted Baxter" for years, and we KNOW Ted Baxter was a moron; that was why he was funny. Has Carpenter expressed the same angst since Olbermann's been imitating Rupert Murdoch's Aussie accent as a pirate? Dies she presume all Australians are pirates?
How insulting is it to the millions of women in this country who speak with the same sort of inflection as "Valley Girls" to presume that they're all stupid because they speak that way. I used to work at law firms, and several of the women lawyers I worked with sounded like Olbermann's imitation of Malkin, yet they were brilliant lawyers. It's an imitation of MALKIN, not a generic "stupid woman" imitation. If he were to do that, a southern accent works better. It also helps if you're missing some teeth and you have a little tobacco in your jaw.
But I have to say, the most insulting thing Carpenter says in this article is to impute that the "mashed up bag of meat with lipstick" remark rises to the level of some sort of endorsement of abuse. Yes, it was probably an unwise and somewhat sexist remark that was unnecessary. But for Carpenter to claim that Olbermann was suggesting that, because he was calling Malkin is a lying sack of shit (which is probably what he meant, but wasn't allowed to say, so he thought of a euphenism and came up with a bad one), that somehow meant that he was advocating someone abuse her, is an insult to Olbermann, but more than that, it's an insult to abused women everywhere.
This reminds me of those people who write to the Stephanie Miller Show to complain about Jim Ward's imitation of Kim Jong Il, because he uses a Korean accent. Whenever they complain that it's an insult to Koreans, I'm left scratching my head; if KIm Jong Il was able to speak in English, what would he sound like? It's unlikely he'd speak the King's English in a proper British accent. Likewise, has Megan Carpenter ever actually HEARD Michelle Malkin? She does sound like that; like she's better than everyone else. And for her to imply that Olbermann was advocating violence against women, well, that's more over-the-top than Olbermann's poorly chosen euphemism for "sack of shit."
Stop bending over backwards to find something to criticize our side for. There's plenty there, if you look hard enough.
(And by the way, I would have loved to have made such comments on the site itself, but Air America's new blog apparently doesn't allow for that. Hint Hint.)