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Dennis Miller

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  • Right-wing media predictably attack Pelosi with sexist remarks

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Right-wing media figures predictably launched sexist attacks against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during the 2019 State of the Union address. The new round of attacks is just the latest manifestation of conservative media’s problem with women.

    For over a decade, conservative media haven’t hesitated to lob sexist attacks at Pelosi as part of a persistent attempt to build the narrative that she is a shrill, uptightwitch.” Conservative talk show host Dennis Miller once called Pelosi a “shrieking harridan magpie,” and conservative radio host Mike Gallagher has repeatedly said on-air that someone should “throw a bucket of water” on her and “see what happens.” Conservative radio host Mark Levin, who has regularly lobbed sexist attacks at Pelosi and other Democratic women on his show, once claimed that “our friends in San Francisco” will keep re-electing “shrill” Pelosi “as long as her makeup holds up.”  

    Other conservatives have responded to Pelosi’s leadership with crude, tasteless vulgarity. On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh suggested that if Pelosi “wants fewer births,” she should put pictures of herself “in every cheap motel room,” adding, “That will keep birthrates down because that picture will keep a lot of things down.” Fox’s Laura Ingraham once claimed that “Nancy Pelosi basically did everything except sell her own body” to pass health care reform legislation.

    Conservative media personalities have also spent years attacking Pelosi over her appearance, including by claiming she has had face-lifts and Botox. Radio host Michael Savage offensively described Pelosi as “Mussolini if he came back and wore ugly clothing and put on bad makeup and had too much Botox.” Limbaugh once asked if “[Sen.] Lisa Murkowski and Pelosi go to the same Botox guy,” suggesting that “maybe they share needles.” On Fox host Sean Hannity’s radio show, Levin once declared, “You could bounce a dime off [Pelosi’s] cheeks.” Talk show host G. Gordon Liddy claimed, “If they stretch Nancy Pelosi's face anymore she can be used as a drum in the Marine Core (sic) Band.”

    Given conservative media’s history of sexist remarks against Pelosi, it is unsurprising that the pattern of attacks continued before and during the State of the Union:

     
  • Fox Freaks Out Over Routine Election Monitoring By International Organization

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox News hosts and contributors are manufacturing panic over the arrival of election monitors from the UN-affiliated Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), insinuating that they will interfere with the November 6 election. But the OSCE has monitored elections in the United States since 2002, without any complaints that they meddled in the election.

    As Think Progress has noted, the observers are coming at the invitation of the State Department after a number of civil rights organizations requested their presence due, in part, to new voter ID laws that threaten to disenfranchise young, minority, and elderly voters.

    Several days earlier, the Drudge Report and Fox Nation highlighted a story from The Hill about the presence of international election monitors arriving for the 2012 election. On Tuesday, Fox News' evening shows began fearmongering about the observers.

    During Tuesday's edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle called the election monitoring "meddling of a bizarre nature," and said there are "members from terrorist countries that are amongst" the election monitors. On Wednesday, conservative radio host Dennis Miller -- who has a regular segment on the Factor -- claimed that the OSCE monitors are "going to make sure Jews don't vote." On both nights, O'Reilly imagined a scenario of New Black Panther members assaulting the observers.

    On Thursday, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs highlighted Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's threat to arrest the OSCE observers if they come near or enter a polling place, summing it up as: "Don't mess with Texas."

    On Friday, Fox News contributor Dick Morris released a video claiming that election monitoring and other UN actions might figuratively constitute a UN coup d'etat. Morris stated:

    The threat we face is from the United Nations. Now, I'm not literally suggesting that black helicopters are going to land on the Rose Garden and blue-helmeted UN troops are going to do a coup d'etat. But figuratively speaking, that is a metaphor for what's going on at this point. Just two weeks ago, or last week, the United Nations announced -- get this -- they are going to send monitors to observe elections in the United States to determine that our elections are fair and free.

    This unwarranted wave of panic is undermined by the fact that the OSCE has been monitoring U.S. elections by invitation since 2002. Conservatives are upset that OSCE representatives recently met with civil liberties groups concerned about voter suppression, even though that is not the organization's primary mission. An October 20 report from The Hill explains:

    The observers, from countries such as Germany, France, Serbia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, will observe voting at polling places and other political activity.

    "They [will] observe the overall election process, not just the ballot casting," said Giovanna Maiola, spokeswoman for OSCE. "They are focusing on a number of areas on the state level, including the legal system, election administration, the campaign, the campaign financing [and] new voting technologies used in the different states."

    In a follow-up e-mail, Maiola noted that it is a limited election-observation mission. She said "the OSCE has regularly been invited to observe elections in the United States, in line with OSCE commitments."

    [...]

    The OSCE has 56 participating states from Europe, Central Asia and North America, including the United States and Canada. It has assessed elections in the United States since 2002.

  • Bill O'Reilly's Sandra Fluke Obsession

    Blog ››› ››› DAVID SHERE

    In the past month, Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly misrepresented and smeared women's health activist Sandra Fluke and falsely claimed that she has advocated for universal taxpayer-funded contraception. In fact, as she made clear in her testimony in front of a congressional panel in February, Fluke was voicing support for the health care mandate that requires private health insurance plans -- which women already pay for -- to cover women's preventive health services without a co-pay.

    The mandate is intended only for private health insurance companies where premiums are paid by individuals, often through their employer -- not the taxpayer. Religious organizations are exempt from complying with this requirement.

    O'Reilly has criticized and misrepresented Fluke's testimony five times in the last four weeks, most recently on September 18 during his interview with Comedy Central's Jon Stewart:

    After Stewart described Fluke as speaking "about an issue close to her heart," O'Reilly interjected, "and her hand in my wallet at the same time." He then asked, "Do you want to pay for this woman's birth control?" adding, "She wants everybody['s contraception] to get paid for."

    A Nexis search reveals that in addition to Tuesday night, O'Reilly has said:

    • September 13 -- O'Reilly stated: "Of course" Fluke is "demanding the taxpayer fund female birth control, abortion, and now transgender operations."
    • September 11 -- O'Reilly stated: Americans "don't want to pay for Sandra Fluke's lifestyle choices." O'Reilly went on to say, "if you're going to tell me that I got to pay for Sandra Fluke's birth control, I'm going to tell you that's an extremist position."
    • September 5 -- O'Reilly stated: "Sandra Fluke wants us to pay for her birth control."
    • August 27 - O'Reilly described, "Sandra Fluke, who wants everybody to pay for her birth control." He asked his guest, Juan Williams, "Do you want to pay for [her] birth control?" He finished by claiming that Fluke "wants us to pick up her lifestyle expenses," and said in another segment that Fluke "believes the constitution mandates that the American people pay for her birth control."

    In addition, O'Reilly has repeatedly attacked or facilitated attacks on Fluke on his show: