Friday, April 15, 2011

Olbermann, Cupp, and the Necessity of Thicker Skin

From the department of "Why is this news?"

No... nobody called Sarah Palin a vulgarism for female genitalia again. Yet.

But the situation - and the reaction - are similar, and it further demonstrates that not only are some conservatives guilty of reverse sexism, but that they need to get a grip.

Yesterday Keith Olbermann tweeted the following about conservative cutie-pie columnist SE Cupp:
On so many levels, she's a perfect example of the necessity of the work Planned Parenthood does. RT @meow_6 #wo...

This morning, it's at the top of Memeorandum, with links to coverage all over the place. The Blaze, JWF, Mr. G's, Mediaite, Newsbusters, PajamasMedia, IOwnTheWorld...

See what I mean?

I repeat my question: Why is this news?

Reading the posts above, the general reaction seems to be two-part. First, who would ever say (tweet - whatever) such a thing?! And second, a whole lotta references to Ms. Cupp's gender and appearance.

Let's take 'em one at a time.

First, a lot of people say things like that. The Urban Dictionary defines "Abortion Poster Child" because it has entered the vernacular as an effective insult. (And interestingly, at least one commenter at the sites listed above made remarks along the lines that the best part of ol' Olby ran down his mom's leg. How is that remotely different from KO's snark?)

Is it tasteless? Sure. The best insults often are. But unheard of? Not hardly.

But I gotta say, the bigger deal to me is the second part of the conservative response...

In my humble opinion, conservatism is supposed to embrace true equality. Not the equality of liberalism, where to be "equal" you must be artificially elevated and protected, but actually treating people the same regardless of their group or gripe. No class warfare, no victim status, no special treatment for special groups...

So you'll have to forgive me if I think demanding kid gloves treatment for conservative women is damn nearly offensive.

The idea that Sarah Palin might be tough enough for public office and international affairs while still being such a delicate flower that she'll wilt in the presence of profanity is nonsense. (The very fact that grown adults are reduced to euphemisms like "the c-word" is also nonsense, but that's a whole 'nother post.)

Yet when it hit the news, even a lib I know fell back on "But she's someone's wife... daughter... mother...!"

Yeah? So?

She's also fair game.

So is Ms. Cupp.

Why would I write that? How could I be so callous and low? It's very, very simple.

This is America. I treasure the right to say what I think about the President (all of 'em, not just this one), Congress, the media, sports stars, the cast of Jersey Shore... you get the idea.

I refuse to set aside roughly half the population of the world as untouchable simply because they have breasts. Period.

Following the new rules, I can't even bash Pelosi anymore!

Oh, wait... I forgot something. The other bit of outrage (part 2b, if you will) is specific references to Ms. Cupp's physical appearance.

So, we can insult ugly liberal women? Is that the deal?


If these women want to step on the public stage, they'd better be ready to give as good as they get. (In fairness, I did like Palin's reaction to Maher... a kind of "sticks and stones" mentality, while dishing it right back. Well done! Cupp not only seemed more affected, she actually dragged her mommy into the fight. If you ever catch me having my mother guest blog to defend me from the meanies, come slap the crap out of me. Seriously.)

And if conservatives want conservative women in office and the media to be taken seriously, they'd better stop pretending that those women are on a pedestal, above insult and innuendo. This is America, remember? If you're on the stage, you'd better learn to duck the occasional rotten tomato... because we're all critics here.

And that's exactly as it should be.


Cross-posted at RepublicanRedefined.

UPDATE: I ain't done.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link...I think, lol.

You're right, stories like this are a sad commentary on today's news writers and pundits. Must have been a slow news day or something.

But at the same time, it does show how out of touch the Progressive Left is with mainstream Americans. Almost everyday, someone on the left is making tasteless remarks about Conservative political figures and pundits. Consider the latest brouhaha over the Wonkette article by Jack (off) Stuef about Sarah Palin's autistic child. That was so far out of line and does nothing to further political discourse...why even go there?

I agree that S.E. Cupp could have and should have handled it better. She should take emulate Palin and let it slide off her back like water off a duck's back.


ScratcherMMBI said...

When it comes to Trig Palin, I agree with you 100%. But he's a child. I feel the same way about Obama's kids... the children are off limits. All of 'em.

(Bear in mind, that does NOT cover Megan McCain, who is grown AND inserts herself into the mix and is thus fair game also.)

A big part of my problem with the Cupp insult is:

1- Insulting a woman isn't automatically misogyny, and shouldn't be portrayed as such. We can not demand that the females are off-limits as special cases.

and 2- Her (Cupp's) response was that of a child - even though she (supposedly) isn't one.