Did Donald Trump finally cross a line?
Conservative media outrage was mysteriously muted after the mogul disparaged Senator John McCain’s military record. But it came out in force shortly after The Donald made lewd cracks about Fox News host Megyn Kelly — remarks widely interpreted to be a crass reference to the debate moderator’s menstrual cycle. That is ultimately what got him disinvited Saturday from a gathering organized by right-wing media big top RedState.
But if there’s one person standing by the Donald, it’s Kelly’s employer, Fox News president Roger Ailes. According to a tweet from Trump, Ailes called to say that the reality TV star and GOP frontrunner would get a fair shake from the news network and that Ailes’ “word is always good.”
Perhaps Ailes has decided that it’s expedient to bring Trump into the network’s fold — that, to paraphrase Lyndon B. Johnson, it’s better to have Trump in the Fox News tent emitting his puerile playground insults outward than sending him outside, to have him (or his alarming supporters) spew it in.
Or perhaps it’s just Ailes’ long-overdue affirmation that his network really is just in the business of casual, vile misogyny — of which the following may be four of the worst examples. We’re sure we missed a few (hundred), so please let us know in the comments.
1. Boobs On The Ground
In September 2014, after ripping into President Obama for not showing respect to the troops because he saluted with a latte in his hand, Fox News host Eric Bolling asked if the female U.A.E. pilot who dropped a bomb on ISIS could be considered “boobs on the ground.”
In a subsequent clip from The Daily Show, Jon Stewart laid out Bolling’s despicable hypocrisy and misogyny of the “boobs” comment:
First of all, forget the rampant sexism in that statement. Second of all, she’s a pilot, so whatever gender-specific equipment she might be carrying, it’s in the f*cking air! And thirdly, what was the quote that someone [Bolling] said earlier in your program? “These people are putting their lives on the line for us. Show respect.” So f*ck you and all your false patriotism.
Bolling’s sexist gaffe begins at 4:45 in the video below:
Via Daily Kos
2. “Know Your Role And Shut Your Mouth”
In June 2013, conservative talk- show host Bill Cunningham told Fox News contributor Tamara Holder, “Know your role and shut your mouth.” He called her a “liberal stooge” and a “judicially challenged” “excuse monger” for Obama. And then — while pointing a finger in her face — screamed at her: “Get your finger out of my face.”
“What, are you gonna cry?” he snapped at her, after subjecting her to a litany of childish ad hominem attacks.
Hannity asked the two to “shake hands and make friends” — rather than, you know, ask Cunningham to apologize. “I don’t shake hands with trolls, ” Holder said.
“Name calling takes the place of reason!” Cunningham yelled. He continued: “Don’t you look at me like that!”
“I’m always honored to join Sean Hannity’s shows,” Holder said in a subsequent statement. “I have long considered Mr. Cunningham as my professional friend, so I was just absolutely shocked by how he spoke to me.”
Holder’s subsequent appearances on Hannity’s show have not been too dissimilar.
In September 2013, a few short months later, Cunningham told Holder she didn’t “look like a Catholic girl to me,” and called her a “Farrah Fawcett-wannabe.”
“Your ilk!” Cunningham screamed, “and people of your ilk — basically — are going to ruin this country. This is a predictive catastrophe.”
Smiling, Hannity just mused: “I’ve lost all control.” Yeah, Sean, it’s not like your name’s in the title of the show or anything. What could you have possibly done?
Via Media Matters
3. Women Would Be Happier At Home
Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes went on Hannity back in May to discuss women’s pay disparity, which, luckily for us, he’s got all figured out:
The big picture here is women do earn less in America because they choose to. They would rather go to their daughter’s piano recital than stay all night at work, working on a, you know, proposal, so they end up earning less. They’re less ambitious. And I think this is sort of God’s way, this is nature’s way of saying, “Women should be at home with the kids. They’re happier there.”
The segment’s other guest, once again Tamara Holder, called the remarks “absolutely deplorable” and challenged Hannity to rebuke McInnes, who told her: “If you were a real feminist, you would support housewives and see them as the heroes and women who work [as] wasting their time.” He also affirmed that women were “less ambitious” and only “pretending that they like working,” since they’d rather be at home.
“You’re making a mistake” being on TV, he told Holder. “You would be much happier at home with a husband and children!”
Sean Hannity giggled. “Oh boy,” he said.
“Sean, this isn’t funny,” Holder said. “You should speak up.”
4. The Emotional Difference Between Men And Women
Responding to a September 2014 UN speech given by Michelle Obama on the subject of pay inequality, Bill O’Reilly accused the First Lady of obscuring the issue. See, O’Reilly said, what “the stats cannot define is the emotional difference between men and women.”
“The First Lady should well understand the invalid comparisons that are being made in the gender economic discussion,” he said. He conceded that there was an “old boy network,” but that “life is not fair,” touting his own success bucking The Establishment.
“I do not believe there is a war on women,” he clarified. “I do not believe our capitalistic system is holding women back.”
The “progressive vision of enforced equality” leads to “gross injustice” because trying to enact such policies make companies fear women — which is why they don’t do as well as men, O’Reilly said. That, of course, and having children.
Screengrab: Media Matters