MSNBC analyst: Working-women vote for Santorum “hurts me”

posted at 9:15 am on March 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

For election night coverage yesterday, I mainly stuck with on-line sites, although I occasionally flipped back and forth between CNN and Fox for a little comedic relief.  I avoid MSNBC like the plague, and this clip is a good example of why.  When informed that Rick Santorum won 49% of the vote from working women in Alabama, according to exit polling, MSNBC analyst Karen Finney made the news all about her:

After she was asked by O’Donnell to give her view of the primary results, Finney said, “This woman vote really hurts me.”

O’Donnell then shared exit poll data from Alabama showing 49 percent of working women voted for Santorum.

“That’s why I say,” continued Finney, “it’s a little painful because I’m wondering if those women really heard the full message that, yes, there’s the economy, but if you’ve got to worry about your basic healthcare, how are you then going to be able to do what you need to do in terms of having a job, paying your rent, taking care of your kids?”

Maybe it’s because most working people in America think health insurance is a part of being employed and that having a good job will take care of this.

Or perhaps it’s because working women, by and large, don’t believe that they need government to force employers to provide them with free birth control. I’m wondering if Finney herself “heard the full message,” or only heard what she wanted to hear. In a country where 99% of sexually active women access birth control without a government mandate for free supplies on the job, Finney’s formulation sounds like she’s not paying much attention at all. It’s the height of arrogance for Finney to believe that nearly half of working women that voted in the Mississippi primary did so out of ignorance, just because they don’t agree with Finney.

And if that doesn’t make the case for ignoring MSNBC “analysis,” there’s always this:

O’Donnell began asking John Heilemann how news networks “can we declare the largest vote-getter in a three-way a winner?” Heilemann began to answer, but stopped to acknowledge the “triple-entendres going on” with O’Donnell’s question. “I don’t know what’s going on,” he joked to Rachel Maddow, while Heilemann responded, “nothing that is more uncomfortable for Rick Santorum than being in a three-way.” “With two very handsome men!” Maddow joked, which then turned into a conversation on who is the handsomest of them all (O’Donnell interjected that it was, in fact, Romney, which Maddow thought was up for debate but ceded, “I’m no expert, sorry”).

If Santorum’s reaction to the whole “Google” thing is any indication, he won’t be too happy to know he can’t even watch cable news coverage of himself with his kids without them having to hear a gay sex joke (gay by design, because women in the highest level of politics are still few and far between). The jokes– particularly Maddow chiming in with “I’m no expert” on handsome men– are on their face completely hilarious– and challenging their appropriateness will inspire an inevitable chorus demanding one “lighten up,” but they nonetheless raise a serious question: would this sort of joking around seem as merry and not-creepy if they were talking about Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton? Is the fact that all the people being objectified and mocked here are men what makes it passable as comedy for major cable news anchors and analysts (Heilemann, of course, co-wrote the definitive 2008 tome Game Change) and, if so, is that acceptable at such high levels of broadcasting? It isn’t a stretch to imagine that the feminist outrage would be through the roof should the shoe be on the other foot– if Sean HannityBill O’Reilly, and Greta Van Susteren were sitting around making threesome jokes about Democratic women. It isn’t a stretch to imagine no one will care or question O’Donnell’s behavior here. But that double standard is worth noting and analyzing in today’s media, especially in light of what should be acceptable going forward.

Well, Santorum got the last laugh on New York Magazine’s Heilemann — by winning that close three-way tie.  Here’s the clip:

Update: The exit poll was from Alabama, not Mississippi. Thanks to the commenters who pointed that out; I’ve corrected the first paragraph.


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Comment pages: 1 2

You remember when it was men who complained about having to use condoms?

Tzetzes on March 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Karen Finney used to be a decent listen, though I haven’t heard her in a good while. Maybe being on MSNBC has been a reinforcement. Not sure what it is with celebrity mutts, they seem to lean toward OH EM GEE Racism everywhere. Finney was previously on the racism ride, and now feminism.

All the half breeds I’ve known never had world view like the ones in the News, TV, Movies.

John Kettlewell on March 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Comment pages: 1 2