Accuracy in Media

The View, whose co-hosts are overwhelmingly liberal, surprisingly disagreed with an editorial that appeared last weekend on CNN from feminists Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan. They urged listeners to complain to the FCC about the stations carrying the Rush Limbaugh program in hopes that the agency would yank the licenses of the stations.

Steinem, Fonda and Morgan were upset about Limbaugh’s characterization of Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, and decided to wage a campaign to have Limbaugh removed from the airwaves despite his apology to Fluke.

Joy Behar, who is probably the most vocal liberal on the program, said that she had to had to “respectfully disagree with [her] sisters” on this issue. She said that even though she often finds Limabugh’s speech hateful, she didn’t think he should be fired for exercising his free speech rights. She added that the free market should decide if he stays on the air.

Behar: “No, I don’t think so. I have to respectfully disagree with my sisters here. I don’t think that anyone should be fired for free speech. Although, maybe sedated, but not fired. But the guy also is responsible for a lot of hate speech, and for that I really object to his being on the air, but, again, I think that the free market should determine who stays on the air. Having been fired myself for political reasons over the years—”

That has to be a first for Behar — to find herself defending Rush Limbaugh. Granted, she has a personal interest in this, having supposedly been fired for her political beliefs in the past, but still it’s quite a shock to see her defend Rush even marginally.

Co-host Sherri Shepherd said she recalled when Bill Maher made a comment about a female journalist overseas who he said should trade places with fellow co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Shepherd said that she found it offensive, but there was no similar outrage by the feminists. She was referring to Maher’s joke that Hasselbeck should be sent to Egypt for CBS reporter Lara Logan, who was captured while covering the uprising in that country and later revealed she had been raped by her captors.

Hasselbeck, for her part as the lone conservative on the show, wanted to know why feminists don’t defend conservative women who have been attacked.

Hasselbeck: “Let me just say this. The sisters that you speak of, when they rally and say, “He should get off the air,” that’s a different discussion. My question to them is why are they so selective in their feminism? And where has—why aren’t they burning their bras when a conservative woman is attacked by a man on TV or radio saying things that are just classified as misogynistic? Where are they? No, their fists only raise when it seems to be a woman—who in this case, seems to just be a citizen, so I get that—but I have not heard their voice equally raised for women who, on the other side of the political aisle, are attacked really—”

The answer is that there is a double standard, which has become more evident since the Limbaugh episode. On the one hand is just how willing the mainstream media are to give Bill Maher and others of his ilk a pass when they attack conservative women with misogynistic remarks. On the other hand is just how quick they are to jump on Limbaugh, or any other conservative for that matter, who may do the same to liberal women.

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