Splendid behavior watch: We were thrilled by Bruni’s column!


Until we read it again: Yesterday afternoon, we were very impressed with this post by Ed Kilgore, headlined “The New Misogyny.”

He went on at considerable length. He even named some liberal miscreants! We’d never seen a liberal man write about this topic that way.

And then, we came to the end of the piece. Doh! It was written by Kathleen Geier, filling in for Kilgore on Sunday!

It isn’t Kilgore’s fault, of course, that Geier composed that excellent post. But we had a somewhat similar reaction when we read Frank Bruni this morning.

At first, we were flat-out thrilled by Bruni’s column. We still recommend it quite highly. For some reason, it made us think of this column by Laura Ingalls Wilder, written in 1921 for the Missouri Ruralist.

(“Think of the number of children in the world, each the joy of some mother’s heart, each a link connecting one generation with another, each a hope for the future.” Half of those children are girls.)

Bruni goes on and on and on about the special loathing of women, a loathing which has been displayed in various cultures since the dawn of time. We’ve never seen a man write that column. We think the column is long overdue—and we’ll offer much praise to Bruni.

Having said that, let’s also say this: We noticed something very familiar when we re-read the column. From the following passage, can you guess what it is?
BRUNI (3/13/12): You could argue that Limbaugh chose the slurs he did for Fluke simply because the context, a debate over contraception, was in part sexual.

But there are examples aplenty of women being derided as sluts and prostitutes—two of his descriptions of Fluke—when sex is nowhere in the preamble, nowhere in the picture.


Last year the TV and radio host Ed Schultz hurled “slut” as an all-purpose insult at the right-wing commentator Laura Ingraham. He got a week’s suspension.

Another radio host, John “Sly” Sylvester, used his Wisconsin talk show to savage the state’s lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, as someone given to oral and group sex. This was just random invective, his special way of saying “I hate you.” He went unpunished.

The impulse toward gross sexual caricatures of women is a sick tic without end.
When Bruni finally named some names, he chose to name two minor players. We love Bill Maher around here. But Bill has used worse terms than “slut,” and he didn’t get mentioned. Ed Schultz got called out here; Matthews and Olbermann didn’t.

Bruni named Ed Schultz by name. And he named a guy in Wisconsin we’ve never heard of before.

Do you understand those choices? We’re inclined to think we do.


  1. The right wing meme that this is about everything but Limgaugh's lies and ignorance seems to gain more traction every day.

  2. Its too bad he didn't name the names of the liberal monsters who attack women. That's why people should vote GOP, the party that defends women. It's good to see that things are coming around. As Dave in Cal always points out, the liberals attack Romney and no one speaks up for Mitt but this column. Liberals like Maher and Olbermann and Schultz and all the rest just trash women but other liberals are silent. Look at how conservatives have gone after Rush. Women will flock to the GOP. Bob even says Romney's leading Obama. People are waking up.

  3. Let me guess.

    Rush shamelessly attacks women on a regular basis.

    Liberals are occasional misguided misogynists, and quickly apologize and atone, even though they were only doing it for laughs.

    Am I close?

  4. Evidently Somersby won't be satisfied until the whole world thinks liberals are as misogynistic as Rush Limbaugh. That seems to be the point of his crusade, to make sure everyone knows both sides are "equally guilty", so to speak. Except that pretty clearly they aren't.

    1. A new Pew survey shows that on social network sites liberals are less tolerant of differing opinions than conservatives and moderates are.

      Politics can be a sensitive subject and a number of SNS users have decided to block, unfriend, or hide someone because of their politics or posting activities. In all, 18% of social networking site users have taken one of those steps by doing at least one of the following....

      Liberals are the most likely to have taken each of these steps to block, unfriend, or hide. In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS because of one of these reasons, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates.

    2. Obviously conservatives and moderates are innately superior to liberals. Why didn't I see this before! Now I understand. Tax cuts increase revenues! Global warming is a hoax! Liberals are fascists! Santorum/Gingrich 2012!!

    3. Maybe they don't want to argue politics with friends and family members that don't like Barack Obama.

  5. Sly is a morning drive-time radio talk-show host in the Madison area. Unlike much of the right-wing talk show hosts in the area (who are uniformily terrible), he interviews actual union leaders and working people on his show. Sometimes he is a goon, and sometimes he conducts substantive interviews that listeners (or readers of the local newspapers) are unlikely to hear elsewhere. Given the events of the past year in the Badger State, his show has been quite interesting on occassion. The nice thing about listening to his program on podcast is that I can skip the goonish bits.

    I find it interesting that Bruni contrasts Rush, a right wing radio personality with a national audience of millions who repeatly called Sandra Fluke a slut and worse for three days, with Sly Sylvester, a nominally lefty regional radio talk show host whose program broadcasts to Dane County, Wisconsin who called our Lt. Governor (a fundamentalist Christian and professional politician who likens gay marriage to people marrying furniture) an unkind name. It is amazing the lengths the establishment press will go to to create their "both sides are equally guilty" narrative.

    Check out http://slysoffice.com.

  6. Calling a woman a "slut" is sorta bad. There's nothing wrong with having a healthy sexual appetite. On the other hand porn star Vanessa Del Rio is a self-described slut and, near as I can tell, seems pretty happy with herself. Calling a man a prick...er, I mean, a woman a cunt, is not so bad if the woman is unusually mean and nasty, like Sarah Palin.

    However, any idea that there's some sort of special hatred reserved for women as opposed to men is just silly. Remember Duke lacrosse? The lacrosse players were assumed to be guilty just because they were guys. If there was any soul searching among liberals when it turned out that they were innocent I missed it. What I didn't miss was that Amanda Marcotte, who was easily among their most demented critics and who reaccused them all over again after they had been explicitly exonerated has never suffered any loss of reputation among the liberal left. I think falsely accusing a man of being a rapist is a far more serious matter than calling someone a dirty word.

    And then there's this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muuFygvXPAM

    While, Rush is in very serious trouble for his viscous idiocy, Sharon Osbourne got huge laughs for making jokes about male genital mutilation and how the victims, in her mind, deserved what happened to them and then got off with a lame apology. If any male talk show personality had made similar jokes about female genital mutilation, I find it very hard to imagine his career not being utterly destroyed by the remark.

    I know we're supposed to believe that women have it worse than men in these matters. I just don't seen any evidence that that's true.

    1. You're right liberals go after men, mostly white men, like there's no tomorrow. Amanda Marcotte, Sharon Osbourne, you name them. Why won't liberals denounce them? Why won't Obama and other Democrats denounce them? Why won't they just denounce themselves and then leave the political stage completely, so that conservatives who defend men and women and do stand up to people like Rush and Hannity and Imus and all the rest, who tell Grover Norquist what's for, can just run things? The solution to everything is more freedom. Freedom from taxes. Freedom from regulations. Freedom of religious beliefs to be imposed at the state level. Freedom to fight enemies domestic and foreign. Freedom to be an exceptional nation. That is the conservative motto. Free.

    2. You could have been shorter:

      "You might be right, but conservatives are bad. So I win."

  7. There's also this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlFAd4YdQks&feature=related

  8. You could have been shorter:

    "You might be right, but conservatives are bad. So I win."

  9. thank you regarding revealing. i had been searching for something like that.