“A Big Mashed-Up Bag of Meat with Lipstick on It”
Brazen misogyny is alive and thriving at MSNBC, and as usual, Keith Olbermann is serving it up with his signature sneering contempt for women. While honoring conservative author Michelle Malkin with the “Worst Person in the World” award, the frothing commentator ranted on Tuesday that without her “total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred,” Malkin would “just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.”
A big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.
Attacks like these are designed to dehumanize the target by casting her out of her very gender, rendering her less than woman, indistinguishable from a “bag of meat” were it not for the facade of womanhood she paints on with her lipstick each morning. Makeup is deemed the only thing that sets her apart from an inanimate sack of undifferentiated flesh.
Compare Olbermann’s malicious vitriol to the “Bush in a skirt” line used repeatedly to slur Sarah Palin. “Bush” and “a bag of meat” are essentially interchangeable in the hateful minds of those attacking Palin and Malkin. And a skirt, like lipstick, confers only the trappings of femininity to the wearer, not authentic womanhood. The target is portrayed an “it” masquerading as female.
Olbermann’s vile attempt to reduce Malkin to a bag of faux feminine parts was only the latest episode in a career riddled with examples of rank misogyny. Among the highlights:
- Hoping for Hillary Clinton to concede the 2008 Democratic primary to Barack Obama, Olbermann told a guest they needed “Somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out.”
- He named news anchor Katie Couric “Worst Person in the World” for her “promulgation of the nonsense that Senator Clinton was a victim of pronounced sexism.”
- He laughed encouragingly and cattily joined in as Michael Musto vomited forth a torrent of misogyny in an exceedingly nasty rant about former Miss California Carrie Prejean.
- A segment on the alleged assault of Paris Hilton included the onscreen caption, “A Slut and Battery.” Olbermann ridiculed Hilton, saying, “Paris Hilton claims she was punched in the face yesterday morning at a nightclub in Hollywood [pause] ‘Course she’s had worse things happen to her face …”
- And of course, who could forget the time Olbermann approvingly quoted Geraldo Rivera’s assessment of Michelle Malkin. “It’s good she’s in D.C. and I’m in New York,” said Rivera. “I’d spit on her if I saw her.”
Malkin responded to Olbermann’s latest diatribe with thick skin and a sense of humor:
In case you were wondering what kind of lipstick we big mashed up bags of meat wear, I prefer M.A.C. Lustreglass in Ornamental or Lipglass in Spite. Because nothing goes better with fascistic hatred!
Ridicule is a powerful weapon, but mockery alone won’t force Olbermann into the on-air retraction and apology Michelle Malkin deserves. Here are the email addresses for MSNBC Viewer Services, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and MSNBC president Phil Griffin. You know what to do.