Skip to main content

Last night, Jon Stewart looked into how the media treats male vs. female politicians differently.

LARS LARSON (12/14/2010): That's a man's man, who gets choked up about his country, and about the issues he feels passionate about. All of a sudden, feeling passionate about America and the hopes for his fellow Americans is something that's evil?
So that's really the lesson we've learned today. In politics, it's OK to be a pussy — as long as you've got a dick.
Video and full transcript below the fold.

CHELSEA CLINTON (4/18/2014): Mark and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year.
Oh my God!!  They've got a child arriving!  How'd they pull that off?  I mean....  (listens to earpiece)  Really?!  That's how it happens?  I mean, if that's how it happens, I should have... six kids.  Oh really, not every time?  Oh, OK.  (audience laughter)

Here's the odd thing about this announcement.  Darrell Issa has already subpoenaed the baby to testify about Benghazi.

"Tell us what you know, baby!!"

But congratulations to the Clinton family.  News media, set the 2016 Presidential Speculatron to "bebe"!

CHRIS JANSING (4/18/2014): Everybody's wondering what impact it might have on Hillary Clinton's decision to run for President.

DAVID GREGORY (4/20/2014): Does the fact that she's going to become a grandmother, on top of some of the other considerations, factor in?

ABC THIS WEEK (4/20/2014): Could it put a bump in Hillary's 2016 plans?  And is that sexist to ask?

No!  No!  No, silly billy, of course it's not sexist, even though it's a question that has never, ever been posed to a male candidate, ever.  For God's sakes, Mitt Romney has like a litter of grandchildren!  (audience laughter and applause)  If I'm not mistaken, Mitt Romney has like a grandchild petting zoo.  The guy added three grandchildren while he was campaigning!  He is the only candidate in history whose electoral college total is less than the number of chairs he has to put out at Thanksgiving.  (audience laughter)  My point is, he got crushed in an election by someone with no grandchildren.  Yet somehow the grandchild factor never came up in the race between Obama and Romney.

For God's sakes, when William Howard Taft was running in 1908, he was actually pregnant!  He was pregnant!

(audience laughter)

Nobody even said anything!  Nobody brought it up!

It's as though men and women... are treated differently.  Like they're from two different planets.  Let's call one of those planets Mars, and the other planet, let's call it... Bleegorp-7.  For instance, Senator Dianne Feinstein — 22-year Senate veteran from the great state of... Bleegorp-7 — Feinstein chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, which recently completed a new report about the CIA's Bush-era torture program.  The committee would like to release their findings that the CIA's programs were far more brutal and widespread than had been reported.  And that the CIA had overstated torture's effectiveness.  Or to put that another way:

CHRIS MATTHEWS (4/7/2014): Former CIA director Michael Hayden characterized Senator Dianne Feinstein's motivation for releasing the report as "emotional".

MICHAEL HAYDEN (4/6/2014): That motivation for the report, Chris, may show deep emotional feeling on the part of the Senator.  But I don't think it leads you to an objective report.

"Senator just needs her beauty sleep, that's all she needs."

So, the way the former head of the CIA is defending that agency's use of torture, is to argue that the information in the Senator's report is unreliable, because it was imparted under emotional distress.  (audience laughter)  Well, I tell ya, that guy's gonna be sad tomorrow to find that zinger in his inbox.

You know, it's a theme we see again and again.

(audience laughter and applause at title graphic)

It's true.  You know, when allies of Chris Christie released a report exonerating Chrisite in the Bridgegate scandal, his former aide Bridget Anne Kelly provoked similar concerns.

LUKE RUSSERT (3/28/2014): (quoting the New York Times article) She "seemed emotional."  She was "habitually concerned about how she was perceived by the governor."  A boyfriend had ended a relationship — that's in reference to one of the Christie officials that she was with. ... [T]he report commissioned by Mr. Christie and released Thursday doubles down on a strategy of portraying Ms. Kelly as duplicitous, weeping frequently and dependent on men for approval and stability.
(audience groans)

Now!  But the report also concluded that Kelly "could look much prettier if she smiled".  (audience laughter)  And added that the commission hated to see her resign, but it loved to watch her go!

Over and over again, there seems to be a concern for emotionality when it comes to women in politics.  Like when Hillary Clinton, coming off an upset loss in Iowa, let her guard down at a New Hampshire campaign event.


SEAN HANNITY: Hillary Clinton getting all misty-eyed while talking to voters earlier today.

DICK MORRIS: It was as close to a breakdown as I've ever seen Hillary have. ... I mean, she just is letting her emotions fall out of her, she's being....

SEAN HANNITY: Can't help it.

DICK MORRIS: Can't help it.  Bewildered, frustrated.

LAURA INGRAHAM (1/8/2008): We can't have people who break down and start crying at the most difficult moments.
Of course we can't have that!  And that candidate puddle that was Hillary Clinton just isn't fit to serve with our stronger, more stable male politicians.  You know how the ladies are with the (imitates whiny crying voice).
SEN. MITCH McCONNELL, R-KY (2/9/2010): (crying) When I think of what Kyle has meant to me over the past 15 years....

REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CA (8/7/2003): (crying) It's my son, God almighty.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (12/12/2010): (crying) Making sure that these kids have a shot at the American dream, like I did.  It's important.

(audience laughter)

Stop it!  Stop it!  That man is not crying!  He's a male, he's not crying, he's wearing his favorite onion shirt!  That's an onion shirt!  It's different!

And besides, it's not just women crying.  It's the mood swings.  The other stuff.

KEN MEHLMAN (2/5/2006): Hillary Clinton seemed to have a lot of anger.

TUCKER CARLSON (2/6/2006): (shouting) Why is she so darn angry??

"YEAH, WHAT'S FUCKING WRONG WITH HER??  CALM THE SHIT DOWN, LADY!!"  (wild audience laughter and cheering)

Cuz that's the thing.  If you want to be in politics, you've got to learn how to control your temper.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-NJ (3/10/2012): You conduct yourself like that in the courtroom, your rear end's gonna get thrown in jail, idiot!

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-NJ (6/30/2012): Did I say "on topic"?  Are you stupid?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-NJ (3/10/2012): Damn, ma'am, I'm Governor.  Could you just shut up for a second?

(shocked audience laughter)

Thank you!  Exactly!  That's how you handle government business — calm.  Cool.  Collected.

But the ladies, one minute....

And then the next minute, they're giving you the silent treatment!


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, D-MD: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, I have a statement.  I have a procedural question, Mr. Chairman.  Mr. Chairman, I have a procedural question.  Mr. Chairman, you cannot run a committee like this. ... The Republican accusation in this investigation....  (mic gets cut off)

REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CA: We're adjourned.  Close it down.

(shocked audience reaction)

Don't thank us, thank you.  For showing us all how conflict resolution is handled maturely by males.  Not like those catfighting broads, meow!!


REP. DON YOUNG, R-AK: I call it garbage, Dr. Rice.  It comes from the mouth....

PROF. DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: It's Dr. Brinkley.  Rice is a university.  I know you went to Yuba College and you couldn't graduate.

REP. DON YOUNG, R-AK: I'll call you anything I want to call you when you sit in that chair.


REP. DON YOUNG, R-AK: You just be quiet.  You be quiet.

PROF. DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: You don't own me.  I pay your salary.

REP. DON YOUNG, R-AK: I don't own you, but I can....

(wild audience cheering and applause)

OK, that's what I'm talking about!  You know, the best part of the entire bit is the woman sitting behind Representative Young, who sits up in stunned disbelieving admiration.

(wild audience laughter)

That is just pure admiration at the high level of male discourse in the people's House. I'm surprised she was able to keep quiet, you know, as excitable as the ladies get sometimes, you know what I'm talking about?

(infamous Dean scream plays)

You know, the ladies with the screaming.  But listen, you know, at least that lady had time to put herself together, put her face on.  Because you know how vain the ladies can be, you know what I mean?

(video of John Edwards putting on makeup plays)

You know how the ladies are, always thinking about what they look like.

Now right about now, you may be thinking to yourself, but Jon, in your zeal to make a case that women are too emotional and unpredictable to hold public office, you seem to have almost made the opposite case.  Showcasing, highlighting instances where respected male elected officials appear to be not in total control of their emotional — let's call it — selves.

Well my friend, I see the critical mistake you have made in your thinking.  For all those examples of male emotion are in fact not negative, but positive.

BOB BECKEL (12/13/2010): It takes a lot more courage for a politician to cry on television than it does to be tough.

CHRIS MATTHEWS (2/24/2014): Look at the passion behind this guy!

CHARLES PAYNE (7/18/2013): Congressman, we love when you get fiery like that.

FRANK LUNTZ (4/26/2011): Straight shooter.  And he's tough, and he'll take on hecklers.

REP. MICHAEL GRIMM, R-NY (1/9/2014): You saw an honest open governor that does show his emotions.

ABC NEWS (10/17/2012): He was very forceful, he was very aggressive.

KARL ROVE (10/7/2012): He was aggressive.  He was presidential.

LARS LARSON (12/14/2010): That's a man's man, who gets choked up about his country, and about the issues he feels passionate about.  All of a sudden, feeling passionate about America and the hopes for his fellow Americans is something that's evil?

So that's really the lesson we've learned today.  In politics, it's OK to be a pussy — as long as you've got a dick.  We'll be right back.
Meanwhile, Stephen noted that Harvey Milk is now on a stamp, and had another Better Know a District segment on CA-29 and Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D).

Stephen then had a nod to Earth Day in his own way.

Stephen talked with conservative pundit George Will (though mostly about baseball), and Jon talked with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who got two segments.  Here's the unedited interview in two parts.
Part 1
Part 2

Originally posted to Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site