MSNBC Follows Roger Ailes’s Media Recipe

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Look. Gretchen Carlson’s Title VII civil-rights lawyers do not have to look far to find evidence of how Gretchen’s been treated as a sexual commodity selling bad boy/moralistic mama in 2016’s horse-race politics. MSNBC follows Roger Ailes’s recipe in a New York Times advertisement, making Nicolle Wallace the centerfold.

The MSNBC producers – the supposed opposite of Fox News – present their “Codebreakers” with pride. The code, to me, seems to be protecting our commodification of women newscasters. It’s more akin to custom keepers, not breakers of any idea or thing.

Whether it’s covering or uncovering women, it’s neotribal to me when both supposed sides of the supposedly polarized news treat their women* the same way.  Bare or veiled, it’s all about commodifying women.

Being veiled makes women personal property, whereas being bare-armed and bare-legged makes them corporate sales commodities.  Here’s the newscaster-women-commodification custom recipe: Place woman in the center, showing her décolleté, legs, and bare arms, surrounded by five men (one African-American as a token of Obama’s presidency, and one just this side of 40 wearing frat-boy tennis shoes, a nod toward Bernie Sanders millennials).*

Isn’t this what Gretchen’s brief describes, protesting sexual discrimination? MSNBC producers cannot see or sense how out of sync they are. Oh, I forgot, they fired Melissa Harris-Perry when she complained about her show being bumped one time too many for the 2016 political-circus travesty, when she too was discussing politics.

Perhaps Hillary Clinton’s insistence on wearing pantsuits is cheeky and counterculture after all.

* Token outspoken progressive lesbians like Rachel Maddow exempted; she gets to wear pants and don sleeves in a different ad in this series. Oh, and I forgot the morning-show housewife who puts up with Morning Joe Scarborough’s put-down banter, who gets to wear unflattering sweater sleeves as long as those legs remain exposed.

Sweatin’ With the Angries (“conservative” pop & “stupid” liberal mom on “Morning Joe”)

61qYqJ2P3yL._SX401_BO1,204,203,200_ morningjoe_l_2 Every time I go to the gym,* I figure I’ll treat myself with some TV. I’m going to listen to TV news. Exciting. World-spanning. I can catch up** on my pop-culture deficit during my 20 minutes of exercise (which resembles PT more than exercise, but hey).

And then I turn on the dreck. I start with Fox (why not?). Fox and Friends had on one Bush daughter and the Bush mom (not to be confused with the real Barbara Bush, who would never read, let alone write, a children’s book on Texas, or rather American clichés for the youngest minds to consume).

Switch that off. Let’s go to those supposedly liberal cable shows that big media and the G.O.P. are always whining about. It’s even worse. Mom and Pop are arguing. Plus Pop puts down Mom: He’s the intelligent one in the family, after all, who gets to reverse poor Mom — who has to keep saying to her supposed co-host, “No, you’re wrong” (or something to that effect).

Well, that’s when I gotta end. My PT, after all, works only in 20-minute increments, and at least I put in my 7 minutes learning why everyone — populists on the right and the left — is so gosh-dang-it angry — no, enraged.  Let’s hope my PT recovery is better than the Democrats’. The Republicans, naturally, did it to themselves, and I’d listen to more backstabbing and whining if I just had the patience to finish.

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* for PT, now exciting, energizing, strengthening . . . just 2 decades of recovery from self-induced PC compulsion

** TV was banned in our house when I was growing up, unlike my cousins. We had a working television but we couldn’t watch until we hit the junior-high ostracization years, when I accidentally revealed (to my horror) my ignorance by responding “Who?” to a mention of Keith Partridge of The Partridge Family. That was the last time I unwillingly hid under a pop-culture rock.