November 27 2012
One suspects NBC News reporter Luke Russert has been mollycoddled a bit in his role as news reporter and fill-in host for a number of ratings-challenged shows on MSNBC. Child of media lion and all around nice guy, the late Tim Russert, it’s easy to understand why the younger Russert has been mentored by some heavy hitters in the news business. Clearly, he’s received help from his father’s friends; what else could explain his meteoric rise to the upper echelons of anchor-hood. After all, most journalism graduates his age are still completing their internships.
But Russert certainly wasn't coddled today in his exchange with prickly House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Clearly suffering from Age Denial Syndrome, Pelosi went a little nutty when, during a press conference, Russert dared question Pelosi about whether it might be time for her to pass the baton on to younger Democrat leaders.
The nerve! Doesn’t Russert know he’s part of the State Run Media? There will be no questioning your Government bosses, Mr. Russert!
Pelosi (and the gaggle of sycophantic female lawmakers standing behind her), reacted with the maturity of wee schoolgirls; booing and yelling "discrimination" at a surprised Russert. Pelosi smiled (I think...it's hard to tell), laughed and condescendingly told Russerts that his question was offensive, adding “but you don’t understand.” Pelosi then rattled on about how Senator Mitch McConnell is never asked these questions and suggested she was only asked because she’s a woman. Then she prattled on about her 14-year absence from office in order to care for her children (careful, Nance, you’re awfully close to admitting your own personal decisions impacted your employment track and future earnings).
This is typical pseudo-victim talk from the mainstream feminist elite; acting harmed by perfectly reasonable questions. They want equality but then suggest they should be spared such unsavory questions because, why? It’s indelicate to ask woman about her age?
Three cheers for equality without being subject to equal treatment by the press!
And of course, it never occurred to Pelosi that Russert may not have been talking about her actual age but rather her tired, boring, antique policy ideas. But, let’s suppose Russert was discussing her actual biological age. Is this an unheard of question? Has it been reserved for female legislators? Of course not! Why else would term limits be so popular with frustrated voters. Throw the old bums out!
And who can forget the concern about President Reagan’s age. Or Senator Dole’s age during his presidential run; Political Science Quarterly even called it a “substantive issue in the election of 1996.” Leaders in Congress have faced similar questions. Most recently, voters in New Jersey questioned 88-year old Senator Lautenberg’s fitness for office. And some of the lions of the Senate—from Strom Thurmond to Richard Byrd—stayed until they were in their 90s, much to the concern of their constituents. In 2010, MSNBC reporter Ken Strickland examined the question: how old is too old? Interestingly (and wisely), Strickland only highlighted elderly male legislators.
But let’s be clear on what is appropriate. It was completely fine for members of the Morning Joe idiot squad to toss around the phrase “old, white guy” when discussing Republican criticism of UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s nomination. To Mika and her boys, someon's age and sex matters...if you're a man.
Old white women, on the other hand, and their tired policy prescriptions are off-limits because the elderly and women (two catagories to which Pelosi belongs) is part of a protected class. That means, she deserves special treatment.
Luke Russert's been warned and schooled in the ways of Washington. Next time, he'll limit his questions about age to men…old, white men.