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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