On Tuesday, MSNBC host Ed Schultz referred to radio show host Laura Ingram as a “slut.” On Wednesday, Schultz made an on-air apology and took a self-imposed one week suspension without pay.
But, Schultz’s short work leave is hardly fodder for revelry. Schultz is but a annoying gnat in the misogynistic cesspool that is MSNBC. Under MSNBC President Phil Griffin, who has had executive oversight for MSNBC since 2006, the cable network has displayed a consistent disdain and disrespect for women in leadership and public life.
Sexist behavior is hardly new news at MSNBC. During the 2008 election misogyny-fest, MSNBC was undoubtedly the worst offender, employing a disproportionate number of the poster-boys of sexism: Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, David Shuster, Pat Buchanan and Mike Barnicle.
Under Griffin’s leadership, the cable network has continued it’s unabated disdain for women. From “a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it” (Olbermann) to “balloon head” (Matthews) to “If Palin wasn’t hot would we be talking about her?” (Deutsch). It’s like 2008 never even happened. Sorry Mr. Griffin: it did!
It is time that MSNBC stop it’s on-air reign of terror against women leaders.
MSNBC’s Griffin must immediately institute corporate governance in the area of sexism. Specifically, MSNBC should immediately establish and mandate an in-house educational training course on sexism. All employees and on-air regular guests should be requited to attend. MSNBC should establish an in-house no tolerance policy for gender bias (direct impact to pay and promotions). MSNBC should also adopt a zero tolerance policy for on-air sexist commentary – meaning this: control your words or be fired.
Simply put: issues are fair game, sexism is not. Evaluate candidates and leaders on their positions and performance. Demeaning women or tying to make them into sexual objects, is bad for our country, and frankly as ratings show, bad business.
Failure to institute corporate governance in the area of sexism should result in President Griffin's firing/resignation.