The Politicus

Rebecca Traister's Article On The Failure of Political Pundits to Adjust To Political Shifts.


I found this Rebecca Traister article critiquing TV pundits.  Bottom line:  we can do better than sexist white men who are stuck in the past.  Traister highlights the usual suspects that many a diary has been written about:  Joe Scarborough, Robert Samuelson, and Bret Stephens.  But she does bring up some things I had missed or didn’t catch the first time about two other Homo erectus pundits — Chris Matthews and Donnie Deustch.

With Matthews, I didn’t know he had joked about giving Hillary Clinton a roofie like Bill Cosby.

During post-debate coverage, MSNBC host Chris Matthews — who is still tasked with interviewing presidential candidates, despite having been revealed to have joked before a 2016 interview with Hillary Clinton about putting a “Bill Cosby pill” in her water — was questioning Harris about the stories she’d told about friends not being allowed to play with her because she was black.

I had heard there were sexual harassment claims against Matthews.  Nothing officially reported, but it would not surprise me if Matthews has been an orge with women at work.  He rolls around in some imaginary vision of blue collar manly man vision of growing up in Pennsylvania like a dog rolling around on a dead bird or shit to hide its own scent.

I’ve said for years that Matthews should go.

Then, there is he-man Donnie Deustch.

In this, if nothing else, Deutsch was correct: He has been doling out weird gender essentialism for eons. In his 2005 book Often Wrong, Never in Doubt, Deutsch wrote, “I cannot remember a time in my career when I was not having either a flirtation with a woman in the office, or a friendship, a fantasy, or all of the above. I am at my best when women are there to energize and excite me.” More recently, he told Nicolle Wallace of Joe Biden: “I love him onstage next to Trump. I love his height. I love that he threatened to get into a fistfight with Trump.” Back in 2008, Deutsch loved vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a different way, as a “new feminist ideal:” “I want her watching my kids … I want her laying in bed next to me,” Deutsch said at the time, arguing that “women want to be her, men want to mate with her.”

Oh yeah.  Nice things to say about Sarah Palin.  I want that man to give me political advice.

Traister lays it out pretty well the many problems with our living in the past TV pundits:

This is the suffocatingly grim reality: Even after the peeling off of a layer of the political media’s most prominent interlocutors during #MeToo — including Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Bill O’Reilly and Matt Lauer —television coverage of the 2020 election is still being led by men who have sketchy histories around gender and power. Even after a midterm season in which women — many of them women of color, some of them very progressive — won elections in historic numbers; even in the midst of a presidential crisis during which poor, black, brown, and immigrant communities have been made more vulnerable than ever, and have been brought closer to the center — finally — of left political engagement and activism; even given all of this, so many of the voices interpreting the events around us still belong to the guys who’ve been clumsily telling us what to think about politics for ages.

Bad enough the TV pundits are usually wrong about economics, issues of war and peace, global climate change, healthcare, social justice and racism, but they are still buying into sexism to boot.

I keep coming back to this one question:  if they were so right on these issues, how did we end up with Trump?

Sorry for not linking to the article.  I thought I had done that.  My bad.