Andrea Mitchell: The other liberal media bigot
By Carey Roberts
The preening liberal media loves to fancy itself an elite bunch, the epitome of correct thinking, good intention, and unassailable virtue. That comfortable notion took a broadside last week when it became known that liberal icon Helen Thomas had remarked Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany or Poland.
It should be noted that Thomas was well-known for her anti-Israeli views, often peppering administration officials with long-winded questions that came across as pro-Palestinian tirades.
But Helen Thomas isn't the only female journalist who recently indulged in bald stereotypes.
Last Thursday journalist Andrea Mitchell channeled her inner psychologist, pontificating on the causes of American wars. And Mitchell came to the conclusion that war, for all its complexity, its ebbs and flows, its bravery and tragedy, could be boiled down to a single word: "testosterone."
The context was an Andrea Mitchell Reports interview with historian Evan Thomas about his recent book, The War Lovers. Casting aside historical nuance, this is what Ms. Mitchell had to say (the full interview can be seen here:
Thomas countered such generalizations may miss the mark, describing Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir as "pretty tough women out there fighting."
But Andrea had her mind made up, wrapping up the discussion with more male-bashing innuendo: "I'll let the readers…draw their own conclusions about men in our recent history and their role in getting us into wars."
For us hoi-polloi who want to draw our own conclusions, there is no better place to start than political scientist Joshua Goldstein's thoughtful analysis, War and Gender.
Goldstein documents how in the Revolutionary War, pro-secession women withheld their sexual favors from reluctant freedom fighters. During the Civil War, Southern belles refused to accept suitors who did not take up arms. In World War I, British women organized the White Feather campaign, calculated to shame able-bodied men into uniform.
And three days after the 9/11 attacks, an Authorization to Use Military Force was brought before Congress. All but one female member of Congress voted to authorize to "use all necessary and appropriate force" to wage war on terror.
Goldstein also explains, "since mothers control child care, they could change gender norms, training girls to be aggressive and boys to be passive. But in fact mothers worldwide generally reward boys for being tough and girls for being nice."
Based on his exhaustive analysis, Goldstein reaches this tart conclusion: "Most women support most wars." Ms. Mitchell, is it possible that women also suffer from testosterone-poisoning?
During an appearance on MSNBC on June 5, 2008, Andrea Mitchell referred to the voters of the southwest Virginia region as "rednecks." She later apologized for that.
Nearly a week after her intemperate remarks, half the American population is awaiting a similar apology. In the meantime, here's where you can make your complaint: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carey Roberts is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
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