The Dumbest Thing I Heard This Week

I thought we’d handled this already.

But no, Kirsten Powers is continuing to beat the drum of the stupidest narrative of the week — that vaguely liberal people have insulted women and therefore Limbaugh is unfairly victimized. Unfortunately this is picking up free press and threatens to succeed in letting Limbaugh slide by for his vile rhetoric one more time.

Before we break this thing down, we can all agree that misogyny is bad and calling out misogyny when it happens is not dumb. But this narrative is not about calling out misogyny, it is about distracting the public from Rush Limbaugh by digging up ancient history. It is a spoiled child trying to weasel out of punishment by dredging up a sibling’s past transgressions. Just using the Powers article as emblematic of the narrative, at the end of the article what you’re left with is a pro forma rebuke of Limbaugh and a laundry list of comments made by three different “liberals.” In other words, the “liberals” are horrible and Rush looks mild in comparison. Pure distraction.

I also love that conservatives who use their media access to demean progressives as “victims,” have decided to cry victimhood to defend their boy Rush. This shameless hypocrisy should be remembered the next time Rush attacks the Democrats for creating a culture of victimhood.

But what makes this dumb instead of just insidious is that the contrary examples are not remotely comparable. Bill Maher is a comedian and not a particularly liberal one, despite the fact that in his personal life he is supporting President Obama’s SuperPAC. He used female-specific insults for Sarah Palin to call her a jerk (not that it makes it right, but these terms weren’t used to sexualize her — that intent does matter when attempting to compare it to Limbaugh’s comments), but when she’s a public figure who has supported (along with Ann Coulter) calling President Obama a “Taliban Muslim,” she’s inviting the lowest common denominator of discourse.

Maher also made a crude joke about Bristol Palin’s book, which was over the line, but let’s not forget that she’s making her money as an abstinence advocate and Maher’s joke directly addressed this hypocrisy. It may have been crude, but it was relevant. Attacking the morals of a woman who testified about treating ovarian cysts is not relevant. It’s a tricky distinction apparently beyond Powers’s comprehension.

Oh! And that’s the best part! Pointing out that Kirsten Powers wrote a dumb article is misogyny too! While she did receive one Twitter attack that went to her appearance, she cried foul that she was labeled a “wind-up toy” and a “bobblehead” for spewing GOP talking points while pretending to be the “liberal” on Fox. She said “[a]ll the typical insults that male political analysts and columnists get, I’m sure.”

Yeah, actually. Those are the typical insults male Fox analysts get. Listen, criticizing a woman is not misogyny. Even criticizing the intelligence of a specific woman is not misogyny. If you’re criticized on the merits of what you’re saying, it’s fair game.

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