Sarah Huckabee Sanders must be doing something right. Last week, the feisty, no-nonsense White House press secretary was the subject of three unflattering—if not egregiously sexist—portrayals from haters on the Left.
Nothing could top the disgraceful bit about Sanders on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend. The segment mocks her as an overweight, stupid hillbilly spewing dumb jokes eye-rolling White House reporters must tolerate. The bit really goes off the rails when the Sanders character, played by Aidy Bryant, reenacts Demi Lovato’s music video for “Confident.”
Bryant squeezes into seductive dresses, does some weird, slithering dance on top of a desk while she turns over a picture of her father, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and ends the montage with Bryant wailing in front of the White House press corps, dressed in a too-tight leather leotard. Can you imagine such a skit about women in the Obama White House?
Michelle Obama was always portrayed by a beautiful actress or cast member, even though it would have been easy to mock the First Lady’s athletic frame and how she sometimes towered over her slight husband. Kate McKinnon made Hillary Clinton look much prettier and more put-together than she really is. But once again, the double standards of the same folks who literally wept when Donald Trump was elected a year ago are on full display. It’s almost as if they are getting their jollies out over the election without realizing how hypocritical, childish, and witless they look.
‘A Slightly Chunky Soccer Mom Who Organizes Snacks’
That was just one of this week’s low-blows triumvirate. On November 1, the Los Angeles Times posted a column by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Horsey, “Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the right mouthpiece for a truth-twisting president.” Not only was it a cup of weak tea about how awful it is for a presidential spokesman to spin and pivot back to central talking points, Horsey took a shot at Sanders’ looks:
Sarah Huckabee Sanders does not look like the kind of woman Donald Trump would choose as his chief spokesperson. Much like Roger Ailes when he was stocking the Fox News lineup with blond Barbie dolls in short, tight skirts, the president has generally exhibited a preference for sleek beauties with long legs and stiletto heels to represent his interests and act as his arm candy.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka and wife Melania are the apotheosis of this type. By comparison, Sanders looks more like a slightly chunky soccer mom who organizes snacks for the kids’ games. Rather than the fake eyelashes and formal dresses she puts on for news briefings, Sanders seems as if she’d be more comfortable in sweats and running shoes. Yet, even if Trump privately wishes he had a supermodel for a press secretary, he is lucky to have Sanders.
There’s a lot wrong with this, including Horsey’s suggestion that Melania and Ivanka are nothing more than “eye candy” because they are thin and long-legged. He also must not know a lot of women, because most of us—even sleek women who live in LA—prefer sweats and gym shoes to formal dresses.
Horsey’s attack on Sanders was not just an attack on her, but a degradation of all suburban moms (i.e., married Republican women). Horsey’s sneering description of a “slightly chunky soccer mom who organizes snack for kids’ games” is not meant as a compliment. Here’s what it sounds like to soccer mom-type readers: These types of women are fat, vapid deplorables who have nothing better to do than watch their kids chase a ball around a field and feed them snacks from Wal-Mart. And they probably voted for Trump.
We Hate Those Sickening Family Values
After pushback on social media (didn’t see any from our pink-hat-wearing sistas on the Left, though), Horsey offered a lame mea culpa: “I want to apologize to Times readers — and to Sarah Huckabee Sanders — for a description that was insensitive and failed to meet the standards of our newspaper. It also failed to meet the expectations I have for myself. It surely won’t be my last mistake, but this particular error will be scrupulously avoided in my future commentaries.” The passage was then edited out of Horsey’s column.
But it was too late. New York Times’ columnist Frank Bruni heard Horsey’s dog whistle and tuned it up a notch. In a seething, sexist rant, Bruni called Sanders a “bogus message to Middle America that Trump’s White House is really a homespun, family-values kind of place. Hence her repeated references to being a working mom and managing a boisterous brood at home.”
Ugh, let’s not capitalize on the working-mom schtick, right? That’s only the purview of liberal women, not conservative ones. He called her “mendacious,” a “paid sycophant” (because, again, none of those kinds of people worked in previous administrations), said she “needs a vocabulary lesson,” and that she’s “awful at this.”
So, why is this sexist? Aside from his smack at Sanders for exploiting her status as working mom, Bruni wrote no such column about Jay Carney. Or about Josh Earnest. Bruni left Obama’s spinmeisters untouched, even as both spokesman peddled any number of lies from the White House podium: a video was responsible for a terrorist attack, the IRS targeting scandal was no biggie, or an incoming president colluding with a powerful foe to hack an election. When a notable male columnist overlooks similar, if not much worse, behavior from two men while shamefully disparaging a woman, it’s sexism. Period.
The news and entertainment media has spent a year attacking Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway for her looks and her spin. A few weeks ago, SNL portrayed Conway as a sewer creature trying to get an appearance on CNN. Sanders seems to be their latest target. Now we can stick women in sewers, call them fat, mock them as mothers, and squeeze them into S&M-like get-ups, and that’s just fine? Liberal male columnists and sketch writers can ridicule and smear conservative women serving in the White House, apparently. Remember that for next time.