Sunday, January 13, 2013

TV: Screw Little Mika

At its sassiest you-go-girl moment last week, The Atlantic heaped praise on Little Mika Brzezinski, daughter of a War Criminal, for saying Joe Scarborough was "being chauvinistic."  We're all supposed to be offended for Little Mika and join the notoriously sexist Atlantic magazine in chewing out Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

When The Atlantic pretends to care about sexism, you know something else is really going on.

Exactly what was going on?

Cedric and Wally were all over it mid-week with (joint-post) "Tap tap?" and "THIS JUST IN! HE KEEPS TAPPING" and  (joint-post) "He wants to build a better Cabinet" and  "THIS JUST IN! CABINET PLANS!."  As they made clear, it's a sausage-fest in Barack's second administration Cabinet.  A White House photo also made that clear.

 sausage fest

 The press began to notice.

 David Nakamura (Washington Post) reported:

President Obama brought his top Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency chiefs together Monday with their potential replacements, and some critics noticed one thing that stood out: Each of them was a white man.
Obama, who made women’s issues a core of his reelection bid, has nominated men to serve in three of his most prominent national security positions, including secretary of state, where Sen. John F. Kerry (D) was named last month to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton. The president on Monday announced former senator Chuck Hagel for the defense job and counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan to head the CIA.

Annie Lowrey (New York Times) followed with:

In an Oval Office meeting on Dec. 29, 11 of President Obama’s top advisers stood before him discussing the heated fiscal negotiations. The 10 visible in a White House photo are men. 
In the days since, Mr. Obama has put together a national security team dominated by men, with Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts nominated to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as the secretary of state, Chuck Hagel chosen to be the defense secretary and John O. Brennan nominated as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Given the leading contenders for other top jobs, including chief of staff and Treasury secretary, Mr. Obama’s inner circle will continue to be dominated by men well into his second term. 

Now you're getting it, right?  Joe was making excuses for Barack's failure to nominate women, Mika objected to the sexism and chaos ensued on Morning Joe, right?

Wrong.  Mike was the apologist and excuser for Barack -- as always.  And the segment was a typical cable segment.  If you're not getting that, let's switch over to today's Situation Room with Candy Crowley (CNN).

CROWLEY: We are back with Michael Scherer, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times. So, switching gears here. There is a lot made about the president's latest picks in the cabinet: Jack Lew, Senator Hagel, Senator Kerry in key positions here -- Treasury, Defense, State Department. It's something that your colleague, Congressman Rangel said about the lack of diversity in the cabinet thus far. I'm sorry. This is -- yeah, he said, :it's embarrassing as hell," his words. "We've been through all of this with 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And we were very hard with Mitt Romney with the women binder and a variety of things. And I kind of think there's no excuse with the second term." He just talking about when are all these -- and there was a White House cabinet picture, a photo that went out. And it was kind of astonishing in its white male variety. First of all, does it matter? 

CUMMINGS: It does matter. I think women are very, very -- it's very important that we have women in the cabinet. It's important that we have women in the congress. I would hate imagine the congress without women, to be frank with you. But I think it's a little bit early, Candy. I really do. You know, he has the EPA position to fill. Governor Solis at Labor and Commerce. He has to fill. I think if we just wait maybe a week or two, I can almost promise you we won't even be having this discussion. 

CROWLEY: No offense, but as you know, State, Defense, Treasury. I mean, that's the -- those are the crown jewels of the cabinet, are they not? 

BLACKBURN: The president passed over a very well qualified woman, Michelle Flournoy, who was kind of the next in the cue, if you will, for defense and went with Chuck Hagel. And I know -- I've got friends that are for him and against him. But, Candy, the thing is, there was a woman who would have been the best person for the job. And why did he step over her? It would have been a historic choice. And I think there are a lot of people who are disappointed in that.

Did you notice there were 4 guests and only one was a woman.  That's disgusting.  And that's how it was on Morning Joe today -- only Katty Kay, the sole female guest for that segment, was present via TV monitor while 3 men sat around the table with Mika and Joe.

That's the chat & chew casting stereotype.  Today on NBC's Meet The Press, the roundtable only included one woman as well, Andrea Mitchell.

Andrea Mitchell:  Let me just say that was a White House photo. That picture was taken by the president's photographer, and that indicated who was around him when he was dealing with the fiscal cliff negotiations. That’s what that picture represented. At the highest levels of the White House and in the cabinet you have men and they are white men. Now, the numbers, we can play the numbers game, but as another Democratic president said during a transition in 1992, "You bean counters, you women's groups who are, you know, counting heads, I'm going to fill these jobs." But they were at lower levels. The fact is that men help elect the president. Women voted for the president in the greatest numbers, but the men on his team were the predominant people. You have two women who are the White House deputy chiefs of staff --- Nancy -- Ann DeParle is leaving this week -- but two women, and neither of them are being mentioned in any of these trial balloons to replace Jack Lew. And that’s why women, including the women in the White House, I've got to tell you, I wrote a story about this this week, and I did not get one complaint. I get lots of complaints from the White House about things that I say and do. And, you know, sometimes it's correct, sometimes I have to correct something, but not one person, and I have talked to several people inside the White House, women, and they said, "No, we didn't have any problem with what you wrote about this week." The women are not happy. 

And so we're back to Mika.  Apologizing for Barack yet again.  On the wrong side of the debate as always.

Why the hell should any feminist defend Mika?

She shouldn't.

Mika's not only on the wrong side of the issue, she's on the wrong side of women.

You want to tap into Girl Power?  You better first throw a little in.

Meaning Little Mika just finished her fourth year (last month) as co-host of Morning Joe.  She's done nothing in those four years to increase women's presence or demand that a female regular be seated at the table.  She's been happy to play the idiot and the token.

There is no defense of Little Mika because she hasn't bothered to defend women.  We understand why it went down the way it did last week.

For Mika to call out Barack for failing to do for women?  That would force her to face how little she's done for women on Morning Joe.  

Instead of addressing that, it was much easier for The Atlantic and so many other sexist publications to distract and divert attention.  The real problem was and remains women like Mika who do nothing to help other women get a seat at the table.

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