Just this week, notorious camera hog Sen. Chuck Schumer said perhaps the dumbest thing I have ever heard a politician say.
In attempting to make a point about how the organs of power on Capitol Hill need to work together to prevent a government shutdown, Schumer reconfigured the three branches of government. “You know,” he said, “we have three branches of government. We have a House. We have a Senate. We have a President.” It should be noted that this isn’t the model described in most civics textbooks, which list the three branches as legislative, executive and judiciary.
Now imagine if a Republican had said that. Better yet, a Republican woman. She would be called stupid. She would be mocked on cable news and spoofed on “Saturday Night Live.” Her credibility would be questioned, and if she were attractive, she’d be discounted as a dingbat or a bimbo.
But that’s not the case here. Schumer’s gaffe was met with little fanfare or ridicule from the mainstream media. His interviewer, Candy Crowley, a shrewd veteran journalist, didn’t even question his error.
Granted, mistakes are made on live television. And Schumer was probably tired. People in the public eye talk so much that they are prone to more verbal flubs than the rest of us. For example, when President Obama said there were 51 states, and mispronounced corpsman (“corpse-man,” he said). But while Republican women like Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) have been impaled for lesser missteps, Schumer and Obama can always expect a pass.
GOP women have been called names for doing a lot less than Schumer, or for doing nothing at all: Former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, for one, was called a whore during the midterms. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was accused of having an affair. Lurid details of Christine O’Donnell’s grooming habits were related in a breathless account of a one-night-stand that was posted on Gawker, along with demeaning photographs of the then-Senate candidate from Delaware. Chris Matthews has insinuated that Bachmann is illiterate (“Good thing she doesn’t have to take a literacy test”). And that’s just the tip of the hateful iceberg.
Read More: ANDREA TANTAROS, NY Daily News
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