Friday, February 17, 2012

Welcome to Amurica, Andrea Mitchell

So MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell was talking to serial rapist and Santorum backer Foster Friess, and the two of them, along with the rest of us innocent bystanders, traveled back to the year 1955. But we weren't there to save Doc Brown from the Libyans. No, we were there because 1955 was the only place that Foster Friess felt comfortable saying this:

"This contraceptive thing, my gosh, it's so... inexpensive. Back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives... The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly."

 If you're under 40 years old, like me, you don't know what that means. I will never know what that means, in a visceral sense, but I'm pretty sure that Foster Friess is saying that if women keep pills between their knees, as emperor penguins protecting their eggs during the long Antarctic winter, then they can't walk outside. And if they don't go outside, then Foster Friess won't have to rape them, like he did with 14 women across southern Ohio in the summer of 1990.

Andrea Mitchell, for her part, felt the chill of interminable winter spent in Antarctic darkness as soon as Friess said what he said, because then she said:

"Excuse me, I'm just trying to catch my breath from that, Mr. Friess, frankly," she said, after a pause.

Now, if you are familiar with what usually happens on mainstream cable news, each and every day, then you will know the incredibly stifling restraint on the part of pundits like Andrea Mitchell, at the constant onslaught of right-wing extremism. The record is abundantly clear that as the conservative movement and their corporate backers have become more extreme, more absurd, more aggressive, people like Andrea Mitchell have maintained a faux-objectivity, an objectivity that has nothing to do with observing and reporting on the world as it is, but is instead utterly absorbed with criticizing both sides of a political fight equally. (And they don't even do that very well, mostly because of who they recognize as legitimate players on the liberal side.)

One cause of this faux-objectivity is the fact that people like Andrea Mitchell have been insulated from the effects of forty years of conservative economic policy. They haven't been personally effected by stagnant wages and having to turn to the casinos on Wall St. in order to finance a meager existence. And if Mitchell doesn't know what that's like, then she doesn't know what it's like to be living like that and dealing with right-wing social engineering that limits the options of women and girls in the middle class and below.

Or, maybe she has had a glimpse of what that's like? Perhaps Mitchell's emotional, human reaction to Friess's sexist provocation suggests that she does remember living in America in the 50's and 60's, when all women and girls were treated like poor women and girls are today.

Well, you get what I'm saying here. I hope this is a learning experience for Mitchell. I hope the next time she's talking to Chris Matthews or whoever about the religious freedom of Catholic men to keep their womans in the kitchens, that she at least raises the possibility of religious freedom being a cover for sexism. And if Matthews calls her a dumb broad, then Alan Greenspan, Mitchell's husband, could try and kick Chris's fat ass. And that'd be fun...

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