Oh, this will warm your heart: Fox News has dubbed Michelle Obama Barack's "Baby Mama." See, because "baby mama" is a term originating in the African American community used to delineate a status of romantic partner, somewhere between common-law spouse and "boo," that one attains by fathering or giving birth to a child. Over the years, as the term — which rhymes not only with "Obama" but more common terms like "drama" and "Cappadonna" — grew more common, it was embraced and co-opted by the Caucasian community to the point that it un-controversially became the name of a Tina Fey movie with two white leads and even, I believe, once used by my father as a term of endearment for my mother, who incidentally, popped out her firstborn (me) three years after exchanging vows with him. All of which is to say: isn't this great? It still isn't fully acceptable for even the most "down" white dudes to refer to their black friends as "My N——" — and, let's be honest, "my nizzle" sounds really stupid — but thanks to Fox News it's now okay for white folks to refer to such a fearsomely accomplished, disciplined black woman as Michelle Obama as Barack's "baby mama." Doesn't she seem more approachable already? Anyway, that and China finally says something to Darfur about their genocide problem, another "consummate Washington insider" finds himself on the outs, Nigerian pirates and why I called Geraldine Ferraro "sweetie" with Megan after the jump.
MOE: Okay sooooo … you know how I always say I genetically don't have the capacity to get "offended"? Uh, well. Ummmmm…holy shit. And here I thought we could maybe get in some real news today, like about how Mugabe is sort of doing on a mass scale with Zimbabweans what that weird New Jersey couple did with their foster kids and getting a few fat while leaving the less-special ones to starve…
MOE: Or how pirates control the seas off Nigeria or how this Genocide Olympics stuff has finally put pressure on China to ask the Sudanese government to uh "push forward the peacekeeping mission and political process in a balanced manner" or the great Korean Beef Beef.
MEGAN: I was just about to send you the Michelle Obama thing, too. Query: what other potential first lady has been referred to not as "the wife and the mother of his children" but as a candidate's "baby mama?" Because I'm going to say none. I guess it's apparently ok, though, because she's, like, black and that's, like, what "they" call each other, right? No subtext there, let's just make sure to remind everyone that the Obamas aren't white.
MOE: Unrelated: The Boy Scout leader they are interviewing on Fox re some natural disaster is kind of, you know, foxy. But why the open shirt, kid?
MOE: Okay, back to my belle though. Whoever approved that needs to be fired STAT.
MEGAN: Yeah, I'm gonna guess: not. Though E.D. Hill did get the ax for the terrorist fist bump thingie, even though she was, apparently, quoting an overblown story from the crazy right-wing site Human Events which I'm not going to link to.
MOE: One thing that actually really surprises me about all this too is that yesterday I was watching Fox, and O'Reilly had on that guy who made "Hillary: The Movie" — he's made a new movie about the Obamas! — and O'Reilly was all, "Oh just shut up about Michelle's antiamericanism already, she's explained it, that was back in February, she seems like a nice person, why beat up on the guy's wife," etc. etc.
MOE: And dude, that was O'Reilly.
MEGAN: Yeah, for real. But the HTM guy is, like, a total wack job, did I tell you I met him?
MOE: Incidentally he also told the guy to stop kvetching about how the campaign hadn't released Obama's college thesis on nuclear disarmament. "We all write boneheaded stuff in college, get a life."
MEGAN: Oh, and you know why they had to rush "production" of the movie? So they can advertise it without FEC intervention.
MOE: I still haven't watched it but I found it the other day whilst looking for important documents.
MEGAN: I'm just sad no one is trying to read my college thesis. It was like a solid 6 months of my life and in the whole universe, only 4 people read it.
MEGAN: Oh, well, totally get drunk and watch the movie, it's only worth watching altered.
MOE: Seriously dude, though, WHAT THE FUCK MEGAN.
MOE: Oh by the way, readers who were offended by my addressing Geraldine Ferraro "sweetie" in my Hirshman rebuttal; the original line was: "Sweetie, John McCain left his first wife in the wake of a debilitating car accident and called his second a "cunt" in front of reporters."That was a sort of rhetorical device, meant to contrast "sweetie" (representing the Obama's most noted offense against womanity) with "cunt" (representing McCain's.) It didn't work out so well in the edit, because apparently you aren't allowed to use the word "cunt" in the Washington Post, though "sweetie" is apparently passable.
MEGAN: Also, Jesus Christ, people, a little satire?
MEGAN: Oh, wait, I forgot, we're all supposed to be humorless and opinion-free. This is a news outlet!
MOE: This is getting me off-topic, but there is a (very very bronze) Hillary supporter making the rounds on Fox saying Hillary supporters are choosing McCain because they can't tolerate a "less experienced" candidate than Hillary, which I think is a crock of shit, but it was probably smart that they reverse their "sexism" argument in time for Fox to employ the term "Baby Mama." Unless Tina Fey told them it was okay?
MEGAN: Yeah, I saw her yesterday! She said she'd really like to see Clinton on McCain's ticket, so, frankly, I don't really think she's concerned with "feminist" issues per se.
MOE: Hot new phrase alert! "Consummate political insider"…spotted in today's Times and Jim Hoagland's column…three makes a trend! As I am the consummate idiot savante regarding the Beltway corporate interest groupies, I am wondering if you'll explain to me whether this Jim Johnson thing is a big deal or like if the McCain thing is that big a deal and whether there is anyone in Washington who is going to survive a campaign that banishes anyone who takes money from the corporations who actually make it or whether we are going to be left with Kucinich as a running mate.
MOE: And speaking of Kucinich, who was on O'Reilly last night as well, WHERE DID HIS WIFE GO. I miss Elizabeth.
MEGAN: I think she's probably somewhere working for peace.
MEGAN: I mean, I don't think the rich stuff about Jim Johnson is a huge deal. I think the stuff about him getting a special loan from Countryside isn't really good.
MEGAN: But I think the bigger problem is how to integrate what has essentially been an "outsider" campaign with the Democratic party machine.
MEGAN: And the people that go with it, some of whom are sketchy. It's not like all lobbyists are Republican, it's not even like all corporate lobbyists are Republican or all shady lobbyists are Republican. There's plenty of shadiness in both parties.
MOE: Okay, we gotta return to Michelle. I'm cynical, sure, but I find this shit actually chilling. But also: it is sort of fascinating. There is so little range when it comes to public stereotypes of black women. Like, part of them are trying to cast her as a cold imperious vengeful anti-American bitch, and the rest are just like "no man, just call her BABY MAMA." Think of all the illicit sex they must have had that summer with all the Spike Lee movies. I hear they had chocolate ice cream on their first date. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT'S CODE FOR????
MEGAN: mmmm, chocolate ice cream
MEGAN: Oh, wait, right, we were talking about race.
MEGAN: I actually sort of beat MoDo to the punch yesterday, after I'd read a bunch of really good bloggy stuff about it.
MEGAN: Like, where are all the women who were crying sexism two weeks ago? Because all the stuff I've seen about baby mama and Michelle Obama — until fucking Maureen Dowd — in the MSM has been written by men.
MEGAN: It seems like most of them are still crying over Clinton even as the right wingers are re-writing their 1992 attacks about Clinton's fitness to be First Lady because of her baking skills and (gasp) having a career to suit Michelle, with a lovely little side of racial overtones.