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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 03:56 PM ET, 04/12/2012

Rush Limbaugh and CNN’s ‘clucking hens’


Limbaugh, at it again. (Ron Edmonds - AP)
When Rush Limbaugh was battling for his career after calling Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a “prostitute,” he tried to make amends.

I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.

For anyone naive enough to believe that the statement constituted a Limbaugh awakening on women’s issues, there’s this misogyny from his show today, where he refers to CNN correspondent Carol Costello and anchor Suzanne Malveaux as “CNN’s clucking hens”:

Malveaux and Costello were discussing the Democratic operative and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen, who had discredited Ann Romney as an expert on the troubles faced by American women because she hadn’t “worked a day in her life.” Following is a transcript of the exchange, a perfectly reasonable discussion between two intelligent people who needn’t be disparaged as domestic fowl. (CNN is declining to comment on the matter.)

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It seems like we’ve been talking about this issue for, what, 30 or 40 years now? And it’s back.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: It’s not going away.
COSTELLO: You’re right about because here we go again. The old culture war between working moms and stay at home mothers ignited by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILARY ROSEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues and when I listen to my wife that’s what I’m hearing. Guess what?
His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we — and why do we worry about their future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Conservative critics pounced, and it wasn’t long before Ann Romney appeared on Fox News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: My career choice was to be a mother, and I think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make.
Other women make other choices, to have a career and raise family, which I think Hilary Rosen has actually done herself. I respect that. That’s wonderful. But, you know, there are other people who have a choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Rosen told me earlier she has no problem with stay at home moms, but with Romney’s quote, “woeful record on women’s issues.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSEN: The issue here that I’m focusing on that I encourage other people to focus on, is does Mitt Romney have a vision for bringing women up economically and can he himself stop referring to his wife as his economic surrogate?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Keep in mind according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 71 percent of mothers either work or are looking for work. But still, why are we still talking about this?
The talk back question for you, is there still a war between stay at home moms and working mothers? Facebook.com/carolcnn. Facebook.com/carolcnn. I’ll read your comments later this hour.
MALVEAUX: A lot of us were talking about this, and we were saying wouldn’t it be great if you had the choice, you know, if you didn’t have to actually go out and work? Everybody kind of wants that choice. They feel like if they could stay home, a lot of people would stay home and --
COSTELLO: If you asked Hilary Rosen, she would say that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Ann Romney doesn’t have to go outside --
MALVEAUX: It’s a luxury to be able to choose.
COSTELLO: That’s what she was saying that she didn’t understand those 71 percent of American mothers who maybe have to work and raise their children.
MALVEAUX: Yes. One thing Ann Romney said that I thought was really important was she said, you know, I have struggled. I do know what struggle is. We know she overcame cancer. She has MS. She’s raised five boys. She does have a sense of what it’s like, that life hasn’t always been easy for her.
COSTELLO: And Mitt Romney wasn’t home all the time. She had the bulk of child rearing herself so that’s not easy either.
MALVEAUX: Right. It’s not easy for any of us, Carol, I don’t think.
COSTELLO: I know. I think — I don’t have children but, man, I admire, I don’t know, the strength it takes to raise your children right.
MALVEAUX: I can’t imagine doing it all, really.
COSTELLO: Me neither. That’s why I don’t have any.
MALVEAUX: All right, Carol. It’s a great question. It’s wonderful to see you, too.
COSTELLO: Thanks.

By  |  03:56 PM ET, 04/12/2012

Tags:  rush limbaugh, cnn, carol costello, clucking hens

 
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