Marjorie Taylor Greene got some free PR time on “60 Minutes”. She used it to assert that Democrats are pedophiles who sexualize children.
CBS anchor Lesley Stahl was shocked to hear that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene stands firmly behind her frequent claim that Democrats are “pedophiles.” On “60 Minutes,” Stahl pressed Greene on her use of the slur, and the Georgia Republican defiantly responded that it’s the truth: “They support grooming children.”
“They are not pedophiles,” Stahl rejoined incredulously. “Why would you say that?”
OK, Leslie Stahl…I would ask, “Why would you let that baboon on the air?” I would also ask of any of the higher-ups at CBS, “Why did you let that slur air? Have you no editors?”
Back to you, Leslie: “Why did you make such a pathetically feeble response? You knew going into this what kind of nastiness and lies Greene would deliver, weren’t you at all prepared?
I knew this shitshow was coming on ahead of time, and chose to not watch the show (not a difficult decision, “60 Minutes” hasn’t been relevant for a long time.) Apparently, the American TV watching public felt the same.
Maybe someday the powers-that-be that fill our homes with “news” selected only for its controversial nature will realize that they are driving the culture wars they also deplore. The Right is a hate group.
After marriage equality triumphed, the “pedophile” smear against Democrats morphed into something stranger: the deranged charges of child trafficking that drive the QAnon conspiracy theory. When those accusations proved obviously false, right-wing media figures and MAGA Republicans such as Greene seamlessly shifted to widely applying the “groomer” term to Democrats advocating for tolerance of trans people, especially adolescent trans care and classroom discussion of LGBTQ issues.
The through line here, as historian Brandy Schillace points out, is that the right has recoiled both at the prospect of happy gay families and at young trans people finding better lives with their own parents’ loving support. The connection, Schillace told me, is “resistance to seeing homosexuals or transgender people as part of families,” carried out by associating LGBTQ people with “child predators.”
Stop treating them as a respectable part of the discourse.
Jesus. Greene is doubling down in a new ad.
That is grossly dishonest.
Marcus Ranum says
The best way to handle claims of pedophilia is: “name names.” McCarthy got away with his shit because he refused to name names and present evidence at the inevitable defamation suit. Journalists should challenge MTG and remind her that truth is an absolute defense, so if she names pedophiles and they are investigated and locked up, everyone wins. Of course if she’s lying she should consult her attorney…
The interview would go substantially differently if I was conducting it.
To start the sudden dive, when she made the statement that Democrats are pedophiles, she’d become acquainted with the fact that I’m a Democrat, decidedly not a pedophile, that my honor is important to me and that I’m perfectly capable of beating any making such claims to death over said honor.
I sincerely doubt she’d consider repeating her claim or doubling down, as politicians do have a very strong survival instinct and well, Republicans are cowards.
While wearing this shirt:
The article is pretty good and the tl;dr is that the interviewer is too clueless to interview a toxic deranged piece of shit like Greene.
Marcus Ranum says
Or lazy. A lot of media interactions are governed by desire to avoid losing access, and not challenging your interviewee’s talking points are part of that. The producer of the show accepted the interview and set up the framing, the interviewer had their brain in neutral.
Sphinx of Black Quartz says
I don’t know whom CBS expected would be the target audience here. If you know who MTG is, you either think she’s a particularly odious right-wing goon, or you think she’s a brave Speaker-of-Truth-to-Power and we need more Republican politicians like her.
Thing is, if you’re in the first category, you know she doesn’t merit this kind of puff interview. But if you’re in the second category, you probably hate CBS, refer to it as the Communist Broadcasting System, and think Walter Cronkite is the reason we lost the war in Vietnam. You don’t watch 60 Minutes, you watch Tucker Carlson Tonight (and sometimes Life, Liberty & Levin even though you’re worried that certain groups have too much influence on the media).
Maybe CBS was counting on the latter group to hate-watch the interview? Or maybe this is an olive branch to the Fox News and Breitbart crowd? “Look, we too can be FAIR AND BALANCED — meaning privileging your irrational ideas over reality!”
Or maybe the simplest answer is the best: CBS’s entire news wing is run by octogenarians who have never quite managed to wrap their brains around any political shift since 1994.
Pierce R. Butler says
If the MAGAts or Q-kooks ever did uncover an actual pedophile, who would believe them?
The show title should be “60 minutes wasted” It is a slime bucket of ‘bothsidesism’ and insipid useless interviews by people trying to look serious and important. MThead Greene is a gun-toting, trailer trash bimbo who makes congress look like a badly run circus. Actually, there are many more raving clowns in congress than just her. And I’m being relatively polite in my assessments. What passes for civilized society has been in the cesspool for a long time now.
Doc Bill says
I did not watch the interview after seeing the powder puff teaser; Lesley strolling with the Monster.
I did watch a few clips and my worst fears were confirmed. Stahl was totally out of her league, a sophisticated, intelligent, educated, experienced New Yorker interviewing a stupid, ignorant, loud-mouthed bigot. Sadly for us all, Stahl was not up to the task.
Why no follow-up questions? Why so unprepared? When asked about budget cuts Greene responded “Covid payments and green technology investment.” The simplest follow-up question would have been “what green technologies?” or “how much money does that represent.” “What Covid payments? What about the $200,000 loan you received and was forgiven?” Anything! Greene has no clue what she’s talking about and that could be revealed by simple follow-up questions, one layer deeper. Not to be.
Too bad Stahl had to end her career with such a disaster.
So if CBS interview me, will it be OK that I say the Jews are using Christian children for ritual sacrifices?
Or that African albinos are witches who will cast spells on you?
lakitha tolbert says
I would give anything to watch Jon Stewart rip MTG a brand-new orifice, but alas, she ain’t ever gonna sit next to him anywhere! She’s stupid, but she’s not THAT stupid, apparently.
An essay in the NY Times by a doctor who treats transgender people and is president of World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH): What Decades of Providing Trans Health Care Have Taught Me.
Her conclusions about these stupid laws being past by Republicans to troll voters:
Marcus Ranum says
@robro: as Jon Stewart pointed out – gunshot wounds are a much bigger cause of child death than anything to do with transgender. So maybe politicians could worry about that…?
Matt G says
Okay, so they don’t want happy gay families or loved transgender kids. That doesn’t answer the question why?
I stopped watching “60 Minutes” years ago, specifically after a Leslie Stahl interview with Antonin Scalia.
Stahl tossed Scalia puffball questions. And meekly gave him the pulpit to spew his hateful, reactionary “facts.” She was too enthralled to contradict him.
That Leslie Stahl let a simpleton like Greene get away with right-wing lies with impunity is a disgrace.
Matt G @13, largely because they’re pandering to a very loud shouting minority group, who figure the louder and more threatening they are, that makes them a majority. Add in campaign contributions via superpacs and well, perfect storm of suppression of the popular will.
flange @14, the new corporate style of journalism, all puff pieces, no in depth factual analysis or hard questions. Just panem et circenses, minus the panem. To some extent, out of fear that misleaders will withdraw their availability for interviews, because a loss of free publicity is what politicians want or something, the rest, to avoid that loud minority’s shouts. Just think if Trump’s antics in the run up to the 2016 election not being covered and ceaseless hard questions and instant fact checking would’ve done in that election!
Raging Bee says
Why no follow-up questions? Why so unprepared?
Offhand, I’m guessing that was a condition of MTG agreeing to do the interview at all. And of course the “60 Min.” crew just spinelessly caved, probably thinking the alternative was to be accused of “liberal bias.”
No follow-up questions disallowed, as Saint Petersburg has time delays in responses, as the committee filters a response.
Oh, was that my outside voice?
Primary instructions, from a different location under control of the same government, but I’m not permitted to disclose whether or not it exists. :/
MTG on Trump: “Jesus was arrested”.
(I live at a safe distance, so I think it is funny)
yes and so were Al Capone and Arron Bur
Pierce R. Butler says
unclefrogy @ # 19 – However, Aaron Burr was (quite reasonably) acquitted.
Please, stop insulting baboons.
60 Minutes hasn’t been relevant since Lowell Bergman quit on principle after Mike Wallace bowdlerized Bergman’s Big Tobacco story in 1995.
The staff that stayed at 60 Minutes had to have known what they were signing on for, after Mike Wallace cut the “Big Tobacco” story/interview with Jeffrey Wigand to incoherency so as not to offend advertisers and jeopardize the sale of CBS to Westinghouse. They prioritized their jobs, their wealth and their position in society over any journalistic integrity they might have had. The end result is the kind of crap reporting (“reporting”) that was shown on the MTG segment of 60 Minutes.
This is what an actual journalist looks like:
And the future of the news is… now.
And the obvious follow-up question to MTG–the one that Stahl carefully didn’t ask–would have been “only Democrats? What about known Republican pedophiles like Dennis Hastert, Republican Speaker of the House, Matt Gaetz, Madison Cawthorn, Roy Moore, Bob Packwood, Mark Foley, Jim Jordan, Joel Koskan, Randy Kaufman… the list goes on. Why haven’t you called out ANY of these candidates/elected officeholders?”
“In Arizona, Republican candidate for the Maricopa County Community College District’s governing board, Randy Kaufman, was arrested and charged with public sexual indecency after he was allegedly found masturbating near a preschool on October 4.”
A 30 second Google search would have turned up any of the groomers listed above.
Actual journalism requires actual research… and the integrity to ask the awkward but relevant questions, Leslie.
@Marcus Ranum; Did they, the right-wing politicians (at least the further right wing), not pretty much decide after Sandy Hook that they don’t care about children getting killed, that it is a small price to pay for preserving the 2nd amendment?
It adds to my assertion that they, MTG and her ilk, don’t really care about children. They only care about attacking their political opponents.
Frederic Bourgault-Christie says
Liberal respectability politics are going to get people killed. MTG cannot be engaged with the way one would have engaged with McCain ten years ago.
@5: Maybe some of those people could have been reached by a muscular interview that actually exposed how venal and desperate she is. And maybe some of the people who are in the first group could be further stirred to remember that these people will happily paint their political opposition in terms guaranteed to actually bring about murders. I’m probably engaging in some copium, but it was probably at least worth a try?