"Denmark Babe": Danish PM Objectified For Sitting Near President Obama, Socializing

››› ››› HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY

Right-wing media launched a series of sexist attacks on Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt after she took a photo with President Obama during the Nelson Mandela memorial service, calling her "Denmark Babe," "Danish Pastry," and referring to her as a sexual object.

Rush Limbaugh Calls Prime Minister "Denmark Babe." On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh referred to Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt as "Denmark Babe," and claimed he was defending Michelle Obama's right to be angry with the president after he gave "the babe from Denmark a kiss on the cheek":

LIMBAUGH: I'm not leaving the blonde thing out of it, but I'm also trying to give Michelle some credit here. I think she's got the proper amount of dignity. There's no question, there is no question that she disapproves of what is going on here. Anybody with any sense of decorum, manners, would. I mean this is a really self-involved, narcissistic thing to do. The reason you're there is to accept the mantle, to pass the torch, or to accept the torch being passed, from Mandela to you. And what do you do? You take a picture of yourself with the Denmark babe while the memorial's going on. It isn't cool. There's also a picture of -- after Obama has given the babe from Denmark a kiss on the cheek, and it's a big kiss on the cheek, I mean it's not a peck. There's a miniature embrace there, and there's a picture after that of Obama kissing Michelle's hand.  [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 12/11/13]

Fox News Contributor David Webb: "The Danish Pastry Next To Him -- With All Due Respect." On Fox News' The Kelly File, Fox News contributor David Webb referred to Thorning-Schmidt as the "Danish pastry" sitting next to the President, and suggested Obama had been flirting with her, angering Michelle Obama:

WEBB: You're a head of state, Megyn. Cameron, the Danish prime minister, and President Obama, better places to do this. You're a head of state. This is going to get picked up, negative press. I'd be more worried about what Michelle says about the president's apparent jocularity with the Danish pastry next to him -- with all due respect -- that he may be in a little trouble. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 12/10/13]

Fox News' Andrea Tantaros: "That Leggy Blond Danish Woman." On The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros called the Prime Minister "hot" and suggested that any man would find it difficult to refuse to take a photo with "that leggy blond Danish woman":

TANTAROS: You know what I think. She's looking like, can you not take the selfie? First of all, have you seen the leader of Denmark? She is hot. That is one hot woman. So, I don't think many men would decline.

BOB BECKEL (co-host): What are you suggesting?

TANTAROS: Well, look, she's a good-looking woman. She offered to take a picture with him. I don't know, Michelle Obama doesn't look very happy about it. That was my take on it. That was my read from the photo. A photo says a million words.

[...]

TANTAROS: I bet any of you guys at this table, had that leggy blond Danish woman asked you for a photo, you would have done it.

DANA PERINO (co-host): I would have done it for sure.

BECKEL: I would have done a lot more than that. [Fox News, The Five, 12/10/13]

Fox News' Brian Kilmeade Jokes: "The Danish Prime Minister ... Caused Trouble In My Relationship As Well." While discussing the photo, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade suggested that Michelle Obama was angry the president had taken a photo with the Prime Minister, joking "the last time I was sitting with the Danish prime minister, she caused trouble in my relationship as well." [Fox News, Fox & Friends,12/11/13, via Media Matters]

New York Post: "Flirting With Dane-Ger." The New York Post's December 11 edition featured a cover of President Obama laughing with the Danish Prime Minister, calling her "pretty" and "attractive" and suggesting the two were flirting:

New York Post December 11 Cover[New York Post12/11/13, via Media Matters]

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.