Sunday, May 17, 2009

TV: Bill Moyers Locker Room

We could call out Bill Moyers Locker Room every week. There's not a week that's gone by in which we haven't caught something on that show -- always sexism, usually factual issues as well -- that's worthy of calling out. But we've covered the program and we've covered it. While it's nice to see that after our prolonged criticism other feminists are beginning to notice its troubling pattern, we're really not in the mood to lead on that program every week.


We'll do anything we can to avoid writing about the show at this point. And sometimes we'll call it out here or at The Common Ills without naming it as the show we're calling out such as in the April 3rd "Iraq snapshot." So what generally happens is we ask ourselves, "Can we just ignore that?" And we do. Until it just gets out of hand.

And it has really gotten out of hand. Yet again.

Michael Winship is the senior writer for Bill Moyers Locker Room and sitting around the sauna with Bill isn't fun-time enough so he's made it his life's goal to ridicule women non-stop with the hope that they will go into hiding as a result.

Apparently, if women go into hiding in the United States, Bill Moyers Locker Room will finally have an excuse for booking so damn few of them to appear on the program.

Friday night saw Bill stroking it in another 'manly' circle-jerk and it also saw Michael Winship -- alleged 'writer' (but remember, the WGA East is a joke and a man whose entire 'writing' career is PBS 'public affairs' programs isn't much of a writer) -- show up with yet another insulting essay. This one was entitled "What's So Funny about Washington?" and it included this 'sentence':

Now, the late night shows are affecting traditional journalism and mainstream coverage of events, and influencing public opinion, more than ever, whether it's John McCain dissing Letterman and appearing on Katie Couric's newscast instead, President Obama on Jay Leno, or Tina Fey imitating Sarah Palin to devastating effect on Saturday Night Live.

No, that really doesn't cut it as a sentence (not even as a run-on) but remember, Writers Guild East.


Say it soft and it's almost like hissing.

Why would John McCain appearing on The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric fit into whatever Winship thinks he's created? Political candidates have always appeared on the evening news. Or is he attempting a slam on Couric?

If it's the latter, it's certainly in keeping with his bitchy little attacks on women. Note he praises Tina Fey. By ridiculing the women 'liberal' men love to hate -- Sarah Palin -- Fey earned his love. He concludes by informing that he couldn't actually make it into the White House Correspondents dinner (the president of the Writers Guild West is never shut out) but he did go

to a party held at "at the Corcoran Galley of Art" -- most will probably be more familiar with the historical locale as the Corcoran Gallery of Art. There, he reports:

We met a berobed Arabian prince who had two of the most formidable body guards I'd ever seen, big and impassive, like the statues on Easter Island. Then we were straight-armed aside by an even larger phalanx of black-suited security men. Who's coming through, we wondered - a cabinet member, Joe Biden, the President?

No, it was Eva Longoria, the diminutive but self-important star of Desperate Housewives.

Why, at an art gallery, would a cabinet member travel with security? Is the Hair Club For Men pursuing Arne Duncan? Really, come on. And then note the last sentence.

Eva, disclosure, is someone we know and would include in our top thousand circle of close & personal friends.

What the hell did she do to Michael Winship to get described as "self-important"?

What did she do?

She was born with a vagina.

That's really all it takes. And, of course, Winship will never forgive Eva for supporting Hillary Clinton, for campaigning for Hillary during the Democratic Party primaries.

So he slams her. He calls her, a woman he does not know and has not spoken to, "self-important." A woman he so does not know that he can't even get her name correct: Eva Longoria Parker.

Now unlike Arne Duncan, Eva needs bodyguards. And, in fact, we would recommend that every woman within 90 yards of Michael Winship be provided with body guards.

Trashing Eva had nothing to do with his alleged essay topic. It did fit in with the trashing of women and, of course, with Bill Moyers disinterest in Latinos (a disinterest which can be traced all the way back to his Texas days -- want to go there?).

Women of all sizes and beliefs threaten Michael Winship. It can be an accomplished artist like Eva, it can be an accomplished politician like Hillary or it can be a beauty queen. Take April 3rd's "Miss Universe's Excellent Adventure."

A beauty queen.

Michael Winship, with all that's going on in the world, contributes an essay on a Miss Universe. Winship writes:

But if you needed further proof that the Earth is off its axis, spinning toward the sun, there came the news that another crowned head, Miss Universe, had paid a visit to Guantanamo Bay. Yes, courtesy of the USO, Venezuela's Dyanna Mendoza hit the beach for her personal remake of "Baywatch," visiting the no doubt startled troops there and touring the Gitmo facilities.

Fear Of The Vagina wafts off Winship. "Startled troops"? Right. Because they don't promote celebrity visits, right? (Wrong.) "Her personal remake of Baywatch"? Baywatch is considered an air head show so he has to work that in even though it has nothing to do with Dayana Mendoza. Yeah, that's the other thing. Dayana.

While mocking Mendoza as an air head and stupid, the 'professional' journalist, the president of the Writers Guild East, can't even get the woman's name right. A woman he elected to base an entire column on. Who's the real idiot?

In the last six episodes (April 10 - May 15), Bill Moyers Locker Room has featured 13 guests.

How many were women?

Wanna guess?

Go ahead, make a guess. Of the 13 guests on the last six episodes, how many were women?

Do you need a hint?

Here's you hint: It's the loneliest number.

Yes. One.

One woman. Twelve men and one woman.

With that lousy record, you might think Winship would be encouraged to reign in his frequent attacks on women. But that's not been the case because, let's face it, Keith Olbermann's not the first huckster to make it on the air posing as a 'news man'. No, Bill Moyers precedes him by many, many years. Both men have an itch to scratch, hatred of women. And no matter how often they scratch it or how furiously, they never find relief.

You could deliver six crates of Gold Bond Medicated Powder to the set of Bill Moyers Locker Room and it would still do no good.

The only thing that might would be calling the sexism out.
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