home
WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…

Donny Deutsch on MSNBC: Palin’s polarizing because she “is the first woman in power with sexual appeal.”

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

July 7th, 2009

On Friday, shortly after Sarah Palin declared her independence from her job as Governor of Alaska, I posted this request to Twitter:

@jennpozner: Feminists & progressives, let’s b on lookout 4 #palinsexism –if u see blatantly sexist coverage, call it out. (h/t @addiestan 4suggestion)

On Monday, NPR asked me to write an oped on sexism in media coverage of Sarah Palin. Though I have zero interest in defending the Quittah from Wasilla, I immediately accepted — because clips like the following from MSNBC’s Morning Joe have been all too common. Click the video below to hear former CNBC host Donny Deutsch telling MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough that “The reason people are, on both sides, just so for her and against her” is because “This is the first woman in power with sexual appeal.”


The ranting of a lone chauvinist? Hardly. I’ve written extensively about sexism in media coverage of female politicians, and traveled the country in 2008 with a multimedia presentation about wide-ranging sexism in election media coverage of Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton (and racism in coverage of Barack Obama). Deutsch is far from alone in expressing such views.

It’s also not the first time he’s tried to sell this theory. Back when McCain was still trying to sell Palin as the GOP’s answer to Hillary Clinton (or, as The Daily Show’s Samantha Bee dubbed her, Clinton’s ideological opposite but her “gynecological twin“), Deutsch decreed that Palin was “the new feminist ideal” to “sell a woman in power,” because “women want to be her, men want to mate with her.” Though critics will attack her on “issues,” Deutsch told CNBC, “It doesn’t matter… I want her laying next to me in bed. That’s the way people vote.”

More wisdom from Deutsch-land? Hillary Clinton lost because “She didn’t put a skirt on!”

UPDATE, 7/8: My NPR commentary is live. Please read it and click “recommend” and comment there to encourage them to run similar feminist media criticism in the future. (Also see the WIMN’s Voices version of this oped for links to media examples.)

For now, I’ll just leave you with this advice from Adele Stan:

“…it’s time to put a stop to this barrage of gender-based hatred. It’s not only right; it’s smart. There’s plenty to criticize about Sarah Palin, her latest gambit, and others who share her politics without stooping to the lowest forms of name-calling.”

(Women In Media & News thanks Jill Miller Zimon for being the first to catch Deutsch’s comments on Morning Joe, and appreciates our friends at Media Matters for tracking down the clip.)

Leave a Reply