Video: Media absolves Obama over “Sweetiegate”

posted at 12:15 pm on May 16, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

When does sexist condescension count? Apparently, not when a Democrat commits the sin. According to this report on Good Morning America today, no one really cares about sexist remarks, despite the last thirty years of media and entertainment industries skewering men for this exact transgression:

Try to count all of the rationalizations heard in this clip. Whoopi Goldberg says that no one can assume bad intent. The anchor says that the reporter didn’t take offense, which is patently false; she made a point of emphasizing the word in her report. The “expert” warns against targeting “spontaneity”, and Diane Sawyer wonders why anyone cares.

However, as the piece itself points out, popular culture has used these exact phrases to identify cavemen-like chauvinists for decades, as far back as the hilarious 9 to 5. It’s the spontaneity of the phrase that supposedly reveals latent misogyny. How many times can people recall liberated female characters in movies telling male antagonists, “I’m not your baby/sweetheart/honey”?

One honest point gets made in this piece. The presenter notes that it matters who says it. Apparently it’s perfectly fine for an enlightened Democrat to use condescending terms, especially if they have charisma and charm. It reminds me of another double standard on sexual harassment in the workplace and another attractive, charming Democrat.

I don’t think Sweetiegate matters so much for what it says about Barack Obama, whose use of this came precisely as a dismissal to the WXYZ reporter. It says much more about feminist activists and their remarkable flexibility when presuming to know the interior dialogue of the minds of men.

Update: Commenter Pjaromin recalls this SNL sketch that sums it up (caution: a little NSFW):


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Proving that feminism is dead.

The liberals killed it with Clinton and have confirmed it now with Obama.

Skywise on May 16, 2008 at 12:18 PM

And Gloria Steinham wept.

Boo-freakin-hoo.

omnipotent on May 16, 2008 at 12:20 PM

My wife thinks you are a sweetie Ed.

Squid Shark on May 16, 2008 at 12:20 PM

Feminism: When It’s Politically Convenient

amerpundit on May 16, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Phew, so when I refer to my next waitress as “sugar-t!ts”, I’ll remind her of Diane Sawyers sage advice.

SouthernDem on May 16, 2008 at 12:21 PM

After feminists defended a serial rapist (and sitting US President) for screwing interns in the workplace, it was all over for the movement. Calling a reporter “Sweetie” isn’t nearly as offensive as sitting in church for 20 years listening to a racist pastor extol the virtues of punishing white people.

highhopes on May 16, 2008 at 12:22 PM

It matters who says it

That’s why the feminazis love Billy C. & Teddy K., even though they have a long history of abusing women.

jgapinoy on May 16, 2008 at 12:22 PM

George Allen throws his cell phone at the TV.

Limerick on May 16, 2008 at 12:24 PM

I would never call anyone besides my wife “sweetie” unless she’s younger than my daughter. Even if I would say it innocently, you never know how she would perceive it.

jgapinoy on May 16, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Funny caption, alot worse things to call a woman.

koolbrease on May 16, 2008 at 12:29 PM

I say we start a campaign to call all liberal women (that’s the entire MSM) “sweetie” until November.

faraway on May 16, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Diane Sawyers was sure quick to dismiss that. Irony.

Spirit of 1776 on May 16, 2008 at 12:29 PM

So it’s sexual harassment if Clarence Thomas asks an employ out for a date, and doesn’t retaliate when she declines, but it’s ok for Slick Willie to drop trou on low level Arkansas employees.

As long as you’re a “D” it’s fine.

rbj on May 16, 2008 at 12:30 PM

“I forgive my sins in the name of the Barack, the Hussein, and the Holy Obama. Amen.”

Let us bray.

Akzed on May 16, 2008 at 12:31 PM

thats funny

faraway on May 16, 2008 at 12:31 PM

“I forgive my sins in the name of the Barack, the Hussein, and the Holy Obama. Amen.”

That’s why they call it Trinity UCC.

faraway on May 16, 2008 at 12:32 PM

It says much more about feminist activists and their remarkable flexibility when presuming to know the interior dialogue of the minds of men.

That is perfect. Exactly.

Rightwingsparkle on May 16, 2008 at 12:32 PM

I just want to mention that I am so glad you are writing here Ed.

Rightwingsparkle on May 16, 2008 at 12:33 PM

The presenter notes that it matters who says it

Reminds me of the Tom Brady sketch on SNL:

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/536214

pjaromin on May 16, 2008 at 12:34 PM

Barack Hussein Obama seems to have a lot of bad habits.

Sweety, um, er, person of opposite gender

Kini on May 16, 2008 at 12:34 PM

Just remember, there is NO MEDIA BIAS.

Shillary tells her tall tale of dodging bullets in Tuzla, story plays for WEEKS!

B.O. calls reporter Sweetie, story plays for maybe a couple of brief minutes, if even that.

Just remember, there is NO MEDIA BIAS.

pilamaye on May 16, 2008 at 12:39 PM

That’s what Bill said!

Maquis on May 16, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Sorry, the new line is “Of course there’s media bias” but we tell the truth

Skywise on May 16, 2008 at 12:40 PM

I just want to mention that I am so glad you are writing here Ed.

Thanks, sweetie self-actualized, strong woman!

Ed Morrissey on May 16, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Ed rocks!

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 12:43 PM

I say we start a campaign to call all liberal women (that’s the entire MSM) “sweetie” until November.

faraway on May 16, 2008 at 12:29 PM

That would:
1) Drive them up the wall!
2) Prove the point very well

All in favor…

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Sorry – An error has occurred.

We at RedLasso acknowledge that we suck while you’re at work.

Please rest assured that we are doing everything we possibly can to maintain the status quo so that you will always have to wait until you get home to view our videos.

Thank you for wasting your time.

fossten on May 16, 2008 at 12:48 PM

Heh, at least Obama didn’t use “elevator eyes”

Activist journalism in action!

dmann on May 16, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Barack “Sweetie” Obama…new middle name fits.

Seaberry on May 16, 2008 at 1:06 PM

At the time, the “sweetie” reporter didn’t seem very amused or charmed. The Great Anointed Sex Symbol didn’t answer her question, and she didn’t have a crush on him.

What ObaMessiah meant was “I really don’t want to answer your question, but since I’m da Man and you’re a woman I’ll call you Sweetie so you get lost gracefully.”

I was raised to address an unknown woman as “Ma’am”, not “Sweetie”. But maybe we need to give Obama a pass, because they don’t teach manners in Indonesia, and even less in Chicago.

Steve Z on May 16, 2008 at 1:06 PM

I can just imagine the uproar if Bush made that remark to a female reporter. Feminists would be up in arms, claiming Bush “hates women”, much like after Katrina when it was alleged he “doesn’t like black people.”

Rick on May 16, 2008 at 1:07 PM

That’s a bad habit of mine. I use the term for all kinds of chicks and bitches.

NTWR on May 16, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Thanks, sweetie self-actualized, strong woman!

Ed Morrissey on May 16, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Too much! :) That made me lol at work.

wytammic on May 16, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Dang it! The strike didn’t work with copy and paste. :(

wytammic on May 16, 2008 at 1:09 PM

The greates country in the world has the most PATHETIC media

Hunt035 on May 16, 2008 at 1:17 PM

The reason why Virginia doesn’t have Senator George Allen is because when the MSM does play this game, too many Republicans are ready to apologize and shake in their boots rather than shout from the rooftops and fight like wet cats.
I can only imagine Whoopi had a Republican even muttered “sweetie” under their breath.

Marcus on May 16, 2008 at 1:19 PM

Sweetness

fogw on May 16, 2008 at 1:25 PM

I call my students “sweetie” and “Babe” and “darling,” all the livelong day. Both male and female. It’s better than calling them less attractive names, say I.

And I don’t mind a bit if a man calls me “sweetie,” as long as he’s not trying to pick up on me or something. If a fella’s being sexist believe me–I can give as good as I get, as I think any confident woman should be able to do. And since I’m fairly confident in who I am little things like that don’t generally bother me–they might amuse me, but insulted? It takes a lot more than that to insult me.

:)

Bob's Kid on May 16, 2008 at 1:32 PM

I say we start a campaign to call all liberal women (that’s the entire MSM) “sweetie” until November.

McCain should tell the next MSM female that he talks to that he would like to put her at ease by calling her “sweetie” now that it is perfectly okay for candidates to do so, but that he is still a married gentleman and thinks personally that it would be unseemly.

Then watch Obama whine and the MSM talking heads explode about this latest “attack”!!

drunyan8315 on May 16, 2008 at 1:34 PM

McCain should deliberately use that term, then point out the hypocrisy when the inevitable explosion occurs.

exhelodrvr on May 16, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Yet another pass afforded the Messiah. All kidding aside, yet another example of his seeming inevitablity. I’m starting to think The Book of Revelations might be the real deal, apparently there is nothing Obama can/has/will do that will impact his date with destiny!

What say you….false phrophet?

dmann on May 16, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Sorry, should have read the comments first!

exhelodrvr on May 16, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Imagine if McCain would havd said it. The same ‘tolerant’ feminists would have said “he’s stuck in a time warp, he’s old, can’t pardon that, we’re professional…”

After this election erection, the media, and the feminists will have zero credibility left. Basta.

Entelechy on May 16, 2008 at 1:44 PM

After this election erection, the media, and the feminists will have zero credibility left.

After this election erection, the media, and the feminists will have zero credibility left.

There, fixed it for ya.

drunyan8315 on May 16, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Can you even imaging if McCain had said this?

Is this same group that was outraged over Bubba’s sexual harassment of one of his interns… oh wait. no, that was US!

stenwin77 on May 16, 2008 at 2:47 PM

So when McCain comes on the View and calls Whoopie sweetie, she is just going to blush and bat her eyes at him. Like she did to Pelosi. (ew)

ctmom on May 16, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Proving that feminism is dead.

The liberals killed it with Clinton and have confirmed it now with Obama.

Skywise on May 16, 2008 at 12:18 PM

It’s only half dead.

drjohn on May 16, 2008 at 2:56 PM

MSM 1st Commandment

“Don’t assume bad intentions from Obama”!!!!!!!!!!!

INTENTIONS

There it is again, INTENTIONS!

Liberals’ INTENTIONS are ALWAYS GOOD.
Never assume a bad intention of a liberal!
That’s wrong!

LOL&GAG

maverick muse on May 16, 2008 at 3:45 PM

When Obama was attending his Ivy League school, he did NOT reference his female colleages as “sweetie”. That he feels the NEED to call women “sweetie” is showing of itself. He certainly does not always reference women as “sweetie”. When has he called Hillary or Nancy P. or Kay Bailey Hutchison “sweetie”? There’s no need to clobber libbers over Obama’s faux pas. He sweetly puts those women into the little girl that he can manipulate category. Blaming a woman for not taking kindly to his lack of public decorum is missing the point that Obama has the tendency to put his foot in his mouth. He knows it. He admitted his only campaign regret is that he talks too much. Lay his weakness in Obama’s lap where it belongs.

maverick muse on May 16, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Obama already answered like 8 questions a long time ago.

maverick muse on May 16, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Obama was smart to apologize both over the “sweetie” remark and not answering the reporter’s question, showing he’s a lot more savvy that the clueless MSM reporters, who don’t realize that people make up their own minds from youtube presentations, rather than MSM gatekeepers’ interpretations of events. Nonetheless, the fact that Obama was both condescending and evasive in an unguarded moment is a condemnation of his supposedly sterling character.

ptolemy on May 16, 2008 at 6:17 PM

You can almost imagine JFK talking to a middle aged Helen Thomas in the same manner.

The messiah is all the more endearing because he’s been humanized.

moxie_neanderthal on May 16, 2008 at 8:09 PM

Proving that feminism is dead.

The liberals killed it with Clinton and have confirmed it now with Obama.

Skywise on May 16, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Yep! that stupid woman in the top clip HAHAHAHAHA!

OMG, sheesh… selling out

Chakra Hammer on May 16, 2008 at 9:17 PM

Considering the radicals that Obama hangs around—
Wasn’t Stokely Carmichael(leader of the Black Panthers) credited with saying “women are good for two things; the kitchen or the bedroom”

His comments created a civil war within the ranks of black and white feminists years ago.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stokely_Carmichael

It’s ironic that Obama appears to be causing the same problem.

Ragnell on May 16, 2008 at 11:15 PM

Don’t EVER call me “sweetie” when I’m at work. I assure you I will not take it warmly, and I don’t care who you are or why you’re saying it. While Barack may not have meant any disrepect, Sen. Racecard should know by now that there are certain terms or words, like “boy” perhaps, that are just not acceptable to use because of their past negative connotations. One would think a man with such great judgement would be more in tune with this issue, unless he is only absorbed with racial discrimination.

sheesh on May 18, 2008 at 1:30 PM