Keith Olbermann needs to get a clue

Katie Couric stated the obvious, which is that Hillary Clinton had to contend with a lot of sexist media coverage, some of it coming from NBC reporters and commentators.

For that Keith Olbermann calls Couric “the worst person in the world.”

I’ve written before about why Hillary lost the Democratic nomination, and I don’t think sexism was the main reason.

But you have to be blind and deaf not to acknowledge that a lot of sexist coverage and commentary was directed at her, and MSNBC personalities were among the worst offenders:

For a thoughtful analysis of how sexism affected Clinton’s campaign, read this essay by Trapper John.

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  • I was watching last night

    and I have to say I think Olbermann named her “worst person” more because of her criticizing his colleague Lee Cowan. I was offended too, because I’ve met Lee Cowan multiple times and he’s very down to earth and nice and always mingling with the other local news anchors like Cynthia Fodor.

    • from what I read

      she was criticizing him for saying he had trouble maintaining his objectivity when covering Obama.

      I don’t think that kind of criticism merits the “worst person in the world” designation. That should be reserved for racist or bigoted comments.

  • Olbermann

    Wasn’t someone on MSNBC that said that the Clintons were “pimping” their daughter? I have been so offended by some of their coverage of the campaign that I no longer watch that network. In the clip after reading this post, Olbermann said that Couric was promoting the “nonsense that Clinton was a victim of pronounced sexism.”

    Desmoinesdem–I think you should send Olbermann your article on how to talk to non-Obama supporters about Obama–he could use a few tips. I do not believe Obama is particularly sexist–but some of his supporters have been absolutely horrible. Unfortunately Hillary bashing has become such an addictive sport for some of the media that it is going to be a hard habit to break.  

    • David Shuster

      who is normally a pretty good reporter, made the comment about the Clintons “pimping out” Chelsea on MSNBC. Of course no one ever said that when George Bush’s nephew campaigned for him. Chelsea is well into adulthood.

      I also don’t think Obama is sexist, but it’s unfortunate that he wasn’t more vocal this year in condemning sexist comments by his supporters.

      That clip of Obama calling a reporter “sweetie” while dodging her question didn’t look good either.

      • I cant believe you DM Dem!!

        Not speak more about it!!??

        Hillary Clinton leaked a photo of Obama to try and play on the race card. Hillary didnt speak out against her husband’s racist remarks in South Carolina!

        She fueled the fire on every race issue that came about and now that she lost she can play the babe in the woods?

        I dont think so

        Give me a break!

        Funny I see this while the hundreds of rascist remarks lodged at Obama are thrown by the waste side!

        Well pease fo’ give me massa! I’s a sorrey I spok outta line!……

        • race vs gender

          Senator Clinton did not leak that photo.  If it was released by anyone in the Clinton campaign at all, it was probably someone way down the chain of command…a field worker, most likely.

          I don’t think that mentioning that some people vote based on race is itself a racist remark and it certainly did not deserve the qualification, “playing the race card.”

          I know Senator Obama faced racist comments.  On two occasions I defended Senator Obama while making calls to all area Democrats on behalf of Senator Clinton, a known champion of minority issues.

          I will continue to defend Senator Obama against that kind of crap, but it is not unfair to point out the issues that Senator Clinton faced regarding sexism, especially since Becky Greenwald may face similar hurdles in her campaign.

        • I agree with David Mizner

          who wrote that history will show that the Clinton campaign tried to make Obama into the “black candidate,” while the Obama campaign tried to make Clinton into the “racist candidate.”

          Both sides exploited racial resentment.

          I didn’t like it when Bill Clinton sought to downplay Obama’s victory in SC by comparing him to Jesse Jackson, but that was two weeks after the Obama campaign’s SC memo that deliberately twisted remarks by Bill and Hillary to make them seem racist. Link to that memo, which came straight from the Obama campaign:


          I also was offended when Jesse Jackson Jr. said that Hillary cried in New Hampshire, but she never cried for Katrina victims. That was way out of line.

  • Endemic problem

    The very topic of sexism causes a kind of fatigue in both men and women.  The problem is so endemic in our culture that we roll our eyes and sigh heavily when we hear about the topic, not wanting to acknowledge the uncomfortable reality.  

    Comparison with racism only works on a superficial level.  Slavery and subsequent racism was rationalized by its practitioners, but it always had opponents to point out the rationalization.  Meanwhile, women could not vote, could not own property,  could not always choose who to marry-a circumstance not so very different from being bought or sold.  

    In short, at least slavery was called “slavery”.  The subservient role of women probably dates back to when we were painting woolly mammoths on cave walls.

    So, when a woman manages to assert herself in male fashion, she’s not “likable” because she does not fit our profile.  Assertive women like, say, Martha Stewart or Hillary Clinton ruffle our social feathers, causing inexplicably intense emotions.  

    Senator Clinton is not the victim of an organized, calculated movement of woman-haters.  She combats something far more insidious, a malignant disease deep in our cultural bones.