Douchebag Decree: Piers Morgan
No Piers, I'm not calling you out because you routinely dis audience favorites on America's Got Talent (although seriously, dude has built his career making people cry). No no, you are hereby declared an epic D-bag for interviewing one of the most intelligent, politically savvy women in the world and asking her why she's not married and what she'd cook you for dinner.
Morgan was recently appointed as Larry King's CNN replacement, and this month marked his inaugural series of bound-to-be-uncomfortable interviews. It's not the discomfort that's the problem—journalists should ask questions public figures, politicians in particular, don't necessarily want to answer. It's that these questions are uncomfortable because they are SO BLATANTLY SEXIST. They're just not even good questions, bro! They were not displays of, in Piers's own words, "probing, journalistic rigor with a twinkle in the eye."
OK, first of all, the phrase "twinkle in the eye" is just creepy, and tinged with "boys will be boys" logic—i.e., describing children pre-conception as twinkles in their fathers' eyes. But second of all, it doesn't qualify as mischievous-yet-necessary journalism to ask the hugely accomplished Condoleezza Rice how many lovers she's had or if she dreams of princess weddings. It counts as misogynistic gossip-mongering. See for yourself:
There are a lot of questions Piers could have asked Condoleezza Rice. She worked extremely closely with one of the most controversial, divisive Presidents the United States has ever had. She backed George W. Bush up, she advised him, she fairly gushed about the guy. She was in the room for a lot of meetings the American people would probably love to hear about. But none of this matters because Piers is all, "WOMAN MAKE ME A SANDWICH," and Rice is all, "Well, it would actually be fried chicken, but OK..." and that's what we're letting pass as tough investigative reporting.
Her answers to Morgan's string of insulting questions goes like this, just to sum up the video above, and with Rice's answers cut:
- "How have you avoided being snared in the marriage trap?" (Nope, not making that up. He asked it.)
- "How close have you come [to being married]?"
- "How many times [have you almost been married]?"
- "Do you dream of a fairy tale wedding?"
- "How would I woo you?"
- "I can't imagine you being a subservient wife. I imagine you'd be quite tough." (Again: this was on TV. I am not exaggerating.)
- "Are you high maintenance?"
- "What would you cook for me?"
Riddle me this: When was the last time you saw a male politician, or even a married female politician, get asked if they were high maintenance, or WHAT THEY WOULD COOK FOR THE REPORTER? I can't not write that question in caps lock. It's enraging. I wish that Rice had refused the question on principle. I wish she had pointed out what an enormous douchebag Piers was being. I wish she had responded by asking Piers exactly how many doctorates he has, languages he speaks, or National Security Councils he has led. When interviewed after the interview (???, but that's another question entirely), I wish Rice had not said she would gladly return to the show and praised Piers's "tough questions." She deserves criticism for deeming an outrageous, intelligence-disintegrating series of questions worthy of her time. But she didn't write the interrogation.
Here's what would have happened if she had called Piers Morgan, le Douche extraordinaire, out on his sexist interview. She would have been called a bitch. Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter would probably have written her checks for the ratings they would get trashing her, despite sharing a political party. But the story today would be the b-word. And you know what? I don't agree with her politics, and I wish she had pulled a Powell and distanced herself from the Bush administration upon leaving it, but I for one would have granted Condoleezza Rice membership to the Bitch club in a heartbeat.
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