On WMAL-AM yesterday in an interview with Chris Plante, former President Bill Clinton implied the media has been unfair to his wife, stated that she was standing up to sexism when she took on NBC, and -- when asked about MSNBC's David Shuster's comments about his daughter, Chelsea -- said there was a double standard.
"If he had made a racial slur against Senator Obama, he would have been fired," Clinton said.
Of his wife's recent travails, he said, "the caucuses aren't good for her. They disproportionately favor upper-income voters who, who, don't really need a president but feel like they need a change."
(An interesting description of caucus voters, and upper-income voters, to say the least.)
"I think she has been the underdog ever since Iowa," Clinton said. "She’s had, you know, a lot of the politicians, like Senator Kennedy, opposed to her. She’s had, the political press has avowedly played a role in this election. I've never seen this before."
He said they'd done well considering their slim budget. "We've gotten plenty of delegates on a shoestring," he said.
He did not mention that his wife's campaign has raised more than $140 million.
Asked Plante: "You said, Mr. President, that the political press has played a role in this. Do you think the press has been unfair to Senator Clinton, and excessively generous to Barack Obama?
Clinton said of the press, "they’ve been active participants in this election, and you know what the objective studies done. And they’ve, many of them are willing to be quoted on the record. But I don’t want to talk about the press. I want to talk about the people. That’s what’s wrong with this election, people trying to take this election away from the people."
Plante asked about Sen. Clinton's reaction to the comments Shuster made about Chelsea being "pimped out" by the campaign: "There have been other incidents on MSNBC, where Keith Olbermann, for example, said President Bush was pimping General David Petraeus, where Erin Burnett referred to President Bush twice as 'the monkey,'" Plante said. "Inappropriate things are said by the press. Do you believe it’s really appropriate for senior government leaders to come down on reporters when they become angry with things that they’ve said?"
Said Clinton, slowly, "I think it was inappropriate for him... to refer ...to my daughter ….in the way he did."
He went on, "it was representative of the kind of blatant, careless, crass, cruel remarks that are altogether too common. And I wouldn’t use disrespectful language referring to General Petraeus or anybody else. But I think that it is remarkable how many sexist things have been said in this campaign that have not been reprimanded.
"Hillary never complains when people say things about her or me. But when he involved my daughter, she complained, and I think it was the right thing to do.
"Look, free speech runs two ways, they had to decide, MSNBC decided, they have certainly given their reporters a lot of latitude, their commentators. But free speech runs two ways. And I think that when somebody says something like that, if he had been, made a racial slur against Senator Obama, he would have been fired."
Added the president, "She just stuck up for her daughter, and for girls everywhere, and women everywhere, and it’s about time somebody did after a lot of the rhetoric we’ve been through in this election."
h/t - Newsbusters