MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough got a bit too impassioned about Andrea Peyser’s opinion piece on Monica Lewinsky. What started as a fair defense of the infamous intern segued into caustic over-generalizations. Scarborough ultimately described “you women’s rights ladies” as “sick” and “pathetic,” according to MSNBC.
Scarborough begins with a more or less true statement about women judging other women, especially Lewinsky, too harshly. “This is not about Bill Clinton. This is about the women who were eviscerating Monica Lewinsky, who for 18 years was quiet and, by the way, lived a life of shame and her entire existence reduced to a punchline,” Scarborough said. No matter what Lewinsky’s, 40, exact motivations are for finally opening up in an tell-all interview with Vanity Fair, she does not deserve to be blamed for the affair. Unfortunately, Scarborough did not stop while he was ahead.
“You women’s rights ladies, you were sick in the ’90s. You’re pathetic. If you have young daughters, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I am so angry right now. I am shaking,” the co-host raved. “I still can’t believe the way he was treated in the 1990s. And it was always the women.”
Scarborough’s words — and exact line of thinking — remain unclear. Two admittedly biting columns (Peyer’s and Maureen Dowd’s in The New York Times) do not justify an attack on all women or women’s rights activists.
Although there were several legal statutes in the 19th and 20th centuries to defend women’s reputations, the laws did nothing to stop the general public from bashing Lewinsky, then 21, for the affair. In Vanity Fair, Lewinsky adds that she may have been one of the first women to face scrutiny on such a large scale, thanks to the internet.