On Wednesday, June 11, Fox News aired a segment in which anchor Megyn Kelly and conservative blogger Michelle Malkin discussed conservative attacks on Michelle Obama, Senator and Presidential hopeful Barack Obama's wife. While the segment aired, a caption appeared along the bottom of the screen reading: “Outraged liberals: Stop picking on Obama's baby mama!”
The original report of this story, on Salon.com (original video available) was immediately picked up around the blogosphere. Many bloggers, angered by the caption's racist connotations, were quick to point the blame at Michelle Malkin (who was behind last week's Dunkin’ Donuts/kaffiyeh chaos). Others were simply outraged at the mudslinging.
From Puerto Rico, Vivir Latino says:
Oliver Willis hits it on the head when he writes that those that atteck her should just stop hiding call Michelle Obama the N word and be done with it. I would add, that the implications of the term “Baby Mama” mean that in these attacks maybe they would want to include the use of the word “ho” as well. I mean that's what these attacks are about, attacking Michelle Obama as a black woman (wanna talk sexism Hillary peeps?) and going further by “ghettoizing” her.
From Canada, Nunc Scio agrees that the attack is just plain racist:
Man, if this werenâ€™t so offensive it would be hilarious.
Fox News, Americaâ€™s source for the lowest common denominator, referred to Michelle Obama as Barackâ€™s â€˜Baby Mommaâ€™. Thatâ€™s insulting for so, so many reasons – not the least of which is that it implies the two are unmarried, and plays into a rather distasteful stereotype of African Americans.
Incidentally, in her own blog, Michelle Malkin defends herself, stating that she was not aware of the caption:
I did not write the caption and I was not aware of it when it ran (the Baltimore studio doesnâ€™t have a monitor). I donâ€™t know if the caption writer was making a lame attempt to be hip, clueless about the original etymology of the phrase, or both.
Hannah Strange of the UK's Times Online “Across the Pond” features remarks on Michelle Malkin's attempts to defend herself:
Malkin, a paid Fox News contributor, defends the use of the term by noting that Michelle once referred to Obama as her “baby's daddy.” Not quite the same thing, but nice try.
Blog de Ford (location unknown) feels confident that Obama's campaign team will handle the incident with poise:
Michelle is going to be a target, but itâ€™s important to remember that she isnâ€™t the first potential First Lady to be attacked unfairly. Itâ€™s part of a pattern…
…Why do I have full confidence that the Obama team will deal well with these smears?