Yesterday, I made note of this segment on NPR, in which ABC News contributor Cokie Roberts, while discussing the way female politicians never find themselves caught up in sex scandals, criticized a segment on a February edition of the Don Imus show. In that segment, Imus and Fox News host Chris Wallace joke about Sarah Palin's "Fox News Sunday" appearance and whether or not Palin would be sitting on Wallace's lap.
"It's appalling. It's just appalling. It really is. You know, it's the last place that men feel that they can just make jokes. They would never make such jokes about a minority, you'd be in terrible trouble. But you can still make sexist jokes about women and get away with it."
Well, apparently, Imus heard about the segment and today he and Wallace "responded" to Roberts's criticism. I forget sometimes that the apparent appeal of Imus's show are long stretches of pointless and nonsensical mumblecore, but the basic gist of their conversation is that Roberts is wrong and bad and should feel bad. And, despite the fact that Roberts offered her take in a calm and breezy fashion, with a tone that did not suggest even the slightest quickening of the pulse, Imus refers to her as "hysterical," probably because Roberts has ovaries.
Here's the clip, for those of you wishing to spend time that you'll never get back:
IMUS: I guess you must be upset because Cokie Roberts has been slapping you around.
IMUS: Cokie Roberts.
WALLACE: Remind me who that is?
IMUS: So you know, that morning that you were on and I asked you you were going to interview Sarah Palin and I said is she going to be sitting on your lap? Here is what I meant by that and I would tell you otherwise, I meant was it going to be a friendly interview.
WALLACE: That's not what you meant at all.
IMUS: It absolutely is.
IMUS: Because I've said that about, I've said that about men guests on other programs and Charles will testify to that.
CHARLES: No, I won't.
WALLACE: You were asking Ricky Martin at the time.
IMUS: No, that's what I meant. Charles was being an a-hole. The point is, you, you assigned a sexual connotation to my remark so I --
WALLACE: I simply was trying to get out of the conversation.
CHARLES: It actually was metaphorical whether or not it would be a pleasant encounter.
IMUS: That's what I meant and Cokie having her mind in the gutter most the time. She's a nice woman by the way, decided to get all--
WALLACE: If you say so.
IMUS: Decided today get herself all hysterical about on on the way to be chroma-keyed in front of some building where she's not really standing, in order to report the news on ABC, or wherever she works now .
WALLACE: And she also put on a coat to stand inside and pretend she was standing outside the Capitol.
IMUS: That's right. Talking with Chris Wallace on the Imus In The Morning program and it's turned ugly at his impetus because you attacked me first. So, speculating on my life expectancy.
WALLACE: Well, is that the end of the Cokie Roberts? That was really pretty interesting.
IMUS: No, unless you want to man-up and strike back or roll over like a fat seal. Well, I'm sorry about that fat seal reference. He may be a little touchy there, but--
WALLACE: You're looking particularly cadaveresque today.