Media top headlines January 18
In media news today, CNN’s Paul Begala says Democrats don’t have ‘bad leaders,’ they have ‘bad followers,’ CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admits to poor messaging on COVID guidance, and Spotify remains silent after Joe Rogan critics call for change to prevent COVID ‘misinformation.’
Left-wing comedian Stephen Colbert labeled both the legislative filibuster and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., as “anti-democratic tools” Monday night as he blasted her support for the former and mocked her appearance.
Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., have maintained their support of the filibuster, which essentially kills the Democrats’ hopes of passing a pair of election overhaul bills. In a Senate speech last week, Sinema told colleagues that while she supports the legislation, she believes getting rid of the filibuster would “worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country.”
Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Photographer: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images
( Mandel Ngan/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The voting rights legislation, Colbert said in summary Monday night, was derailed “thanks to Arizona senator and Mrs. Hamburglar,” taking a shot at Sinema after showing his audience a picture of her wearing a black-and-white striped sweater. He also hit Sinema by saying the filibuster “is her first love.”
Colbert also disagreed with Sinema’s argument, saying the 50 Republican senators filibustering the election bills represent millions fewer Americans than the senators who support it.
“Stop acting like the filibuster is anything other than an anti-democratic tool, which is also a pretty good description of Kyrsten Sinema,” he added.
President Biden failed to convince Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to eliminate or weaken the filibuster.
Colbert’s critics described his idea of humor as nothing more than pure partisan politics and hit him for making misogynistic comments about Sinema. Others suggested Colbert’s comments are protected since he’s not a conservative.
“Every time. It’s ‘good’ to insult women’s appearances when it has nothing to do with the subject at hand as long as they’re not ‘behaving,’ you see. Feminism!” CNN contributor Mary Katharine Ham tweeted.
“The misogyny of the radical left has been on full display the last few days,” CNN’s Scott Jennings said.
Several progressive Democrats and media pundits have come after Sinema and Manchin for their opposition to striking down the filibuster, with some taking a page out of Colbert’s book and deciding to go after her appearance and attitude as well. “The View’s” Whoopi Goldberg poked fun at Sinema’s voice last month, using a valley girl accent to mock the senator’s opposition of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan and her insistence that she’s not switching parties.
“So has she just been misunderstood or is she just trying to, like, I don’t know, join into the victory lap?” Goldberg said mockingly.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
((AP Photo/Susan Walsh))
Other liberal media outlets defended protestors who followed Sinema into a bathroom at Arizona State University last year.
The liberal site Jezebel published a piece titled “Absolutely Bully Kyrsten Sinema Outside Of Her Bathroom Stall,” while Daily Beast editor Molly Jong-Fast downplayed the incident.
“Bathroomgate is a dumb fake scandal and conservatives pretending to care about Kyrsten Sinema is kind of hilarious,” she tweeted.
Colbert continued to hammer the filibuster along with his guest Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., later in his show, suggesting the Senate be eliminated if the filibuster can’t be nixed because it’s “the most anti-Democratic institution next to the judiciary, because the judiciary is only the way it is because the Senate is the way it is. No one would drop a single tear…I don’t understand what possible positive purpose the United States Senate provides right now.”
Colbert has been a fervent Democratic Party booster since joining CBS in 2015, at one point whimpering, “I miss you” to a clip of former President Obama. Last August, he was spotted dancing with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a former supporter of keeping the filibuster Colbert now dutifully loathes.
Schumer, D-N.Y., is forcing votes on the election bills and a possible carveout of the filibuster this week. Despite his current quest to down the filibuster, he staunchly defended the legislative tool in 2003 when the Republicans were in power.
“The bottom line is this. We are defending the Constitution, we are saying there should be some balance,” Schumer said in a 2003 floor speech. “President Bush didn’t win by a landslide. This Senate is not 62 to 38, or 70 to 30. This country is narrowly divided, and that means when laws are made they move to the middle.”
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.
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