Gibson on Matthews' "mind-blowing" comment: "[Y]ou listen to this and you tell me who the sexist is"

››› ››› ANNE SMITH

On his January 10 Fox News Radio show, John Gibson aired a clip of MSNBC host Chris Matthews' recent comments about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, which he described as "mind-blowing," and said, "[T]hose women out here who called me a sexist last night, you listen to this and you tell me who the sexist is."

On the January 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated Fox News Radio show, John Gibson aired a clip of recent remarks by MSNBC's Chris Matthews concerning Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) that "the reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around." Before airing the clip, Gibson declared Matthews' comments "mind-blowing" and added, "[T]hose women out here who called me a sexist last night, you listen to this and you tell me who the sexist is."

During the January 9 broadcast of his radio show, Gibson characterized Clinton's manner of speaking as a "screech" and said that "in a great bit of Clinton jujitsu, she used the Oprah Winfrey rule," which he described as: "You know, speak softly. Be vulnerable ... Shed a tear to beat the guy who had Oprah on his side. Wasn't that fabulous?" Later during the January 9 show, a caller complained that Gibson's comments were "extremely sexist." Gibson asked if the caller was voting for Clinton, and an associate producer, identified only as "Christine" on the show, said the caller had hung up. Gibson replied: "Now, isn't that just like a woman? ... That is the equivalent of walking out of the room and slamming the door."

Gibson on January 10 also referred to the purported "Oprah-fication of the presidential race" after reading from an article in the Houston Chronicle that claimed that "[w]omen who've spent years in Texas politics said yes, they believe Hillary Clinton when she came perilously close to shedding a tear on the campaign trail earlier this week."

From the January 9 broadcast of Fox News Radio's The John Gibson Show:

GIBSON: Did Hillary really win because she was emotional --

CLINTON [audio clip]: It's not easy.

GIBSON: And vulnerable.

CLINTON [audio clip]: It's not easy. And I couldn't do it if I didn't just, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do.

GIBSON: And teary. Here it comes.

CLINTON [audio clip]: You know, I have so many opportunities from this country.

GIBSON: So many.

CLINTON [audio clip]: I just don't want to see us fall backwards.

GIBSON: [feigning crying] Oh, me either. Me either.

GIBSON: Maybe Hillary just discovered she has a voice other than that screech we normally hear. Maybe it was nice to hear Hillary speaking softly. And maybe women related to that.

CLINTON [audio clip]: I come tonight with a very, very full heart. And I want especially to thank New Hampshire over the last week. I listened to you and in the process I found my own voice.

GIBSON: Well, I think there's a falsehood buried in that. "Over the last week, I listened to you." No, no, she listened to herself. She listened to all those tapes of her screeching.

CLINTON [audio clip]: That was to equip us to do what needed to be done in reforming Social Security the right way. Reforming Medicare and Medicaid the right way.

GIBSON: Ow.

CLINTON [audio clip]: Making investments --

GIBSON: Ow.

CLINTON [audio clip]: -- in clean, alternative energy. Dealing with global climate change.

GIBSON: Ow-w-w.

CLINTON [audio clip]: Making health care available and affordable to --

GIBSON: Ow!

CLINTON [audio clip]: -- every single American!

GIBSON: That hurt!

CLINTON [audio clip]: That's what that was for!

GIBSON: Ouch! I need health care now. My eardrums!

ANGRY RICH (executive producer): I need to blow my brains out.

GIBSON: So, somebody said to her, "Hillary, speak softly."

CLINTON [audio clip]: I felt like we all spoke from our hearts and I'm so gratified that you responded. Now together, let's give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me.

GIBSON: She learned something there. I mean, you know, she just was not as screechy. And of course, what's the ultimate irony of this is that people are going around saying Oprah Winfrey's going to win this for Barack Obama. And in a great bit of Clinton jujitsu, she used the Oprah Winfrey rule.

AUDIO CLIP: Hi, Oprah.

GIBSON: You know, speak softly. Be vulnerable.

ANGRY RICH: Cry.

GIBSON: Shed a tear to beat the guy who had Oprah on his side. Wasn't that fabulous?

[...]

GIBSON: The tears of a clown, baby. Was it the tears that did it? Kim in Michigan, what do you think?

CALLER: You know, I think what you said is just extremely sexist.

GIBSON: Why?

CALLER: You know, I drove all the way up from work and I'm listening to this about Hillary and the interview --

GIBSON: Yeah?

CALLER: -- and this or that about cleaning the closets out. And, you know, if it was George W. exercising or jogging, or on a fishing trip, or Dick Cheney hunting, that's OK to be talked about, but when you ask a woman what she would rather do or she does for a hobby, it's all of a sudden feminine.

GIBSON: Do you believe it? Do you believe she cleans her closets?

CALLER: You know, why not? Who cares? It could be a way she deals with stress.

[crosstalk]

GIBSON: And by the way, Kim, how am I being sexist? She went on that show, and she said these things. She wanted to get to you and say these things.

CALLER: But you know what? I don't vote Democratic. I'm Republican and I wouldn't vote for her because of her politics anyway.

GIBSON: Well, but, I mean, you know your friends will, right?

CALLER: But you know what? It's the way you did it, just to kind of get our reaction. That's just the whole way society thinks --

[crosstalk]

GIBSON: Is there or is there not, Kim, an Oprah effect in this society.

CALLER: You know what? I don't pay attention to it, to be honest with you. I'm too busy working to sit home and watch all that garbage.

[crosstalk]

GIBSON: Well, you think you're most women, or you think that you're in the minority?

CALLER: You know, I think I'm the majority. Women are out there working nowadays.

GIBSON: Then why does she have a billion dollars a year from a show aimed at women?

CALLER: You know, because -- I guess, I don't know. I can't explain that.

GIBSON: Well, but that's my point, Kim, is you may be one of those women that I hear talk show hosts talking about now that don't fit in what I'm talking about. They're out there working, they're not paying attention to this. My wife has never seen an Oprah show. Ever.

But I'm telling you, they're there. And you know who they are, and you know as well as I do that this was, this was a moment that a lot of women bonded with.

CALLER: You know, I don't think so. I think people are just out there, and they're following her 'cause of her politics. And I really like the way you say "one of those women." You know? I don't know, I --

GIBSON: All right. Well, let me put it this way, Kim: Have you ever seen the Oprah show?

CALLER: Yeah. When I'm away on vacation.

GIBSON: What do you see in the audience?

CALLER: Women. Of course.

GIBSON: One of those women. Those are the women I'm talking about.

CALLER: Oh yeah, and there's not a man out there that doesn't watch Oprah, right?

ANGRY RICH: There's not a real man.

GIBSON: Yeah, right.

CALLER: Come on, there's a lot of men out there that watch Oprah.

CHRISTINE: There are men out there that watch that show. They're in the audience, too. I see them.

GIBSON: Oh, I know what kind of men those are.

AUDIO CLIP: Gorgeous.

ANGRY RICH: -- from San Francisco.

CALLER: Yeah, there you go. There are 200 women in the audience, out of all the people that watch it, no man ever watches it. Come on, guys. Now you're just being silly.

GIBSON: Well, listen -- no I'm not being silly. That show is aimed at women, Kim. You are in denial if you think it's not. You are in denial if you think that Oprah is a billionaire because she appeals to men.

CALLER: You just insinuated that if you're a man that in some way, shape, or form, you're one of those men that watch Oprah.

GIBSON: I did.

CALLER: Yeah.

GIBSON: I know -- we know who we're talking about here.

CALLER: Oh yeah, you sure do.

GIBSON: Well, you know --

CALLER: You can't reason with people like you. And that's exactly the reason why the country's in the state it's in.

ANGRY RICH: It's your fault, John.

GIBSON: Are you voting for Hillary?

CHRISTINE: She hung up.

GIBSON: She hung up.

ANGRY RICH: She's in denial, John.

GIBSON: Now, isn't that just like a woman?

CHRISTINE: You're really digging yourself into a hole.

GIBSON: That made her mad.

CHRISTINE: You made her mad.

GIBSON: That made her mad. Kim hung up on me because she didn't want to discuss it anymore. That is the equivalent of walking out of the room and slamming the door.

CHRISTINE: There's nothing wrong with what she said. She was right on. She made her point and she didn't feel like talking to you anymore.

From the January 10 broadcast of The John Gibson Show:

GIBSON: Meantime, Hillary said today in this quote, "Maybe I have liberated us to actually let women be human beings in public." As Mary Matalin said today on my television show, her new campaign theme is "Four more tears! Four more tears!" What, Christine?

CHRISTINE: It's clever.

GIBSON: It is good, isn't it? Hillary expands on her Oprah-fication project, fully embracing it: "Maybe I have liberated us to actually let women be human beings in public."

AUDIO CLIP: Hi, Oprah.

GIBSON: She is woman. You will not hear her roar. She will instead speak softly and shed just the teeniest of tears.

There are some of those who haven't got the memo. I mean, I actually thought this was unbelievable and I think so many things that Monkey Man says are unbelievable. But for Chris Matthews to say the following was just mind-blowing. You -- those women out here who called me a sexist last night, you listen to this and you tell me who the sexist is.

MATTHEWS [audio clip]: I think the Hillary appeal has always been somewhat about her mix of toughness and sympathy for her. Let's not forget -- and I'll be brutal -- the reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That's how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it.

She didn't win there on her merit. She won because everybody felt, "My God, this woman stood up under humiliation," right? That's what happened. That's how it happened. In 1998 she went to New York and campaigned for Chuck Schumer as almost like the grieving widow of absurdity, and she did it so well and courageously --

GIBSON: Ow.

MATTHEWS [audio clip]: -- but it was about the humiliation of Bill Clinton.

GIBSON: Geez, that hurts. Man. Can you -- I know people ignore him because he says so many idiotic things.

AUDIO CLIP: Ha!

GIBSON: But just supposing I had said something like that last night, that she really was voted into office in the U.S. Senate and is going to win the presidency because her husband fooled around on her.

BILL CLINTON [audio clip]: It's all my fault.

GIBSON: I mean, confirming all of this is, here's a Houston Chronicle. Now, this is well, well out of the way of the Washington-New York-L.A. political treadmill. This is Houston. And two female reporters writing for the Houston Chronicle, Jeanine [sic: Jeannie] Kever and Claudia Feldman, are doing this story about the tears. And they say, "Women who've spent years in Texas politics say the tears were for real. They believe Hillary Clinton when she came perilously close to actually shedding a tear. 'I saw the tears. I connected, and I'm sure a lot of women did,' said Sylvia Garcia, a Harris County commissioner who supported [New Mexico Gov.] Bill Richardson. 'At that moment, she wasn't a candidate being handled, she wasn't following her talking points. She was just herself, excited and passionate.' " Once again, the Oprah-fication of the presidential race.

"Lyn Ragsdale, dean of Rice University's School of Social Sciences, predicted Clinton will steadily gain support from women as the campaign moves to bigger states.

"But even among women who are backing other candidates, Clinton's display of emotion resonated.

" 'I guess I've spent my whole adult life trying to get women in public office, including me,' Ragsdale [sic: Sissy Farenthold, "a former state legislator and two-time candidate for Texas governor"] said. 'The tears, I guess I can't help but relate and think of my own experiences.' "

I said it last night, and you were so mad at me, but:

AUDIO CLIP: Gibson was right. Again.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Gender
Network/Outlet
Fox News Radio
Person
John Gibson
Show/Publication
The John Gibson Show
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