William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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A VICTORY OF SORTS – AT 10:25 A.M. ET:  Some conservatives are fighting back against the monumental hypocrisy of the Rush Limbaugh case.  I think this could be made into a major issue if major conservative figures went about it smartly.

Rush has been condemned, and with reason, for the foolish and hurtful remarks he made about a woman who testified before a congressional panel.  He called her a "slut" and a "prostitute," and has since apologized.  That hasn't stopped a stampede of advertisers away from his show.  The left is jubilant.  Getting Rush off the air is their version of the national pastime. 

But a growing story, at least at Fox News and a few other outlets, is the hypocrisy involved here.  Liberal commentators make equally horrible, or worse, comments about women all the time, and get away with it.  Bill Maher is one of the worst offenders, but recently gave a million dollars to the Obama campaign.  When asked about Maher's history at a press conference, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gave Maher a pass, and made it clear that the money would not be returned.

Now, though, a big of progress.  And we can thank Greta Van Susteren, one of the smartest women in the media.  From The New York Times: 

The comedian Louis C.K. has withdrawn from his role as the host of a dinner for the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association in Washington, a press representative for the comedian said on Friday.

No further explanation for Louis C.K.’s cancellation was given by his press agent, but the announcement comes one day after the conservative Fox News commentator Greta Van Susteren called for a boycott of the event.

On her blog on Thursday, Ms. Van Susteren criticized the comedian for jokes that he had made about Sarah Palin, saying “he denigrates all women and looks to the crowd for laughs.”

Ms. Van Susteren wrote on her blog: “Another pig…. and a media association has hired the pig, Louis C.K., to be their headliner for the big media dinner? Really? I am not going. I refuse to go. Everyone in the media should join me in this boycott.”

She added: “The headliner of this year’s Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner is ‘comedian’ Louis C.K. Comedian? I don’t think so. Pig? Yes.”

The blog post went on to cite R-rated comments that Louis C.K. had made about Mrs. Palin, many of them appearing to come from posts made in September 2010 on his Twitter feed.

COMMENT:  "R-rated"?  That's a mild description.  I would not attempt to repeat, even with blanks and dashes in the words, the vulgar remarks this demented individual made about Governor Palin.  What is remarkable is that he was booked at a dinner for journalists.  Apparently, no one checked his history.  These are great journalists, aren't they?

Or, maybe his history was checked and no one cared.  That would be an even worse condemnation of the journalists involved.

I'd love to have this story expanded.  What did the booking committee know, and when did they know it?

In the meantime, major applause for Greta.  To the best of my knowledge, she has not been joined by any liberal women in journalism, which tells us a great deal about the state of the profession.  But Greta shows us what a little spine can do.

March 10, 2012