Stay Classy, Senator Vitter
Senator David Vitter (R-LA), he of DC Madam fame, is currently up for re-election and has endorsed the validity of the birther lawsuits (as OTB’s Doug Mataconis noted the other day). Now he is making personal jokes about MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
In radio interview made the following comment in regards to Maddow’s high school yearbook photo:
MALE HOST: I wonder if Senator Vitter is ever going to post, like, maybe the video of the first time he was on the floor of the Senate. If I have to show the way I looked the first time I was on TV, you should do that too.
VITTER: We should go further back than that, how about high school yearbook?
MALE HOST: Oh yeah.
VITTER: De La Salle marching band.
MALE HOST: That’d be cool. Well you know, with Rachel Maddow they had that picture of her…
FEMALE HOST: Looking like a woman.
MALE HOST: Yeah it was really bizarre.
VITTER: [LAUGHS]: Must have been a long time ago.
ALL THREE: [HEAVY LAUGHTER]
In the grand scheme of things, not that big of a deal and it is fair to note that the original dig came from the talk show host, not the Senator. Still, this is a clear attack based solely on Maddow’s sexuality, which strikes me as inappropriate and low rent.
And yes, calling Rush Limbaugh fat falls into the same general category, especially if the insult is coming from a US Senator. Vitter’s jibe strikes me as somewhat worse, as it is trying to score points based on social prejudices against homosexuals.
It also seem classless in general to point back to a person’s teenage years, when we are all trying to figure ourselves out, as a basis for poking fun—especially in the case of sexuality questions, which can be quite painful at that stage of life.
Please note: I am a Maddow fan, nor do I watch her show. I have seen her a handful of times as a panelists on Sunday talk shows and the like so I am familiar with her work in general. The above simply struck me as inappropriate and when put alongside other things that Vitter has said and done, simply increases my opinion that he isn’t exactly a high character fellow.
His willingness to semi-endorse birthism and to go along with jokes about people’s appearance and sexuality also says a lot about he thinks some of his constituents want to hear/believe.