Brooke Baldwin, CNN, Pens Op-Ed on “Boobs,” Ends Up Looking More Like One
Brooke Baldwin, CNN, Pens Op-Ed on “Boobs,” Ends Up Looking More Like One
Brooke Baldwin had a meltdown yesterday on her CNN show when guest Clay Travis said, “I believe in the First Amendment and boobs.” Victory Girl Kim wrote about it here in gut-busting fashion. But Brooke didn’t stop there, she decided to draw even more attention to her faux outrage by penning an Op-Ed about her traumatic experience of having to hear the word “boobs” from a guest on her show. I respond to Ms. Baldwin below.
Average American white lady here. Just got up from a nap on my fainting couch to see you’ve nearly choked yourself out with those invisible fake pearls. I’d never heard of Clay Travis before, but now that I have, I think he’s hilarious in a really crass fraternity house kind of way. And he really got you.
What started everything:
I understand that writing is cathartic, so I get that you felt compelled to write about your feelings when you got home last night after your live-on-TV meltdown. I mean, a grown woman rendered speechless by a brutish Neanderthal. It is kind of embarrassing that you didn’t have the wits to keep up with him. But you should have kept this Op-Ed in your desk drawer. It really is not flattering. If you want to be on the same playing field as men, you gotta learn to give it back lady.
The fact that you weren’t slick enough to keep up with Clay and trade some barbs back was bad enough, but you really made it so much worse when you spelled out “boobs” on TV: “b-double-o-b-s?”
I just couldn’t let this go.So I jumped back in and spelled it out like a fourth-grade boy: “b-double-o-b-s?!”
You say you were trying to clarify what he said, but it really looked more like you were afraid to say the word yourself. Everybody who was watching knew exactly what he said, and then you did it again, badgering him over whether he really said boobs. You effectively paved the way for what you perceive as offense speech to be uttered multiple times, so I don’t think you accomplished what you think you accomplished. You sputtered around like a sad, humorless, deflating balloon and lost control of your own show.
If that wasn’t bad enough, you reveal in your Op-Ed that you were prompted to do this by your producer – a male! You had to be prompted into action by a man!
My executive producer Eric (who has worked with me for years) knows me, read my face and quickly got in my ear from the control room and asked: “Did he say ‘booze’?” Apparently, my producers behind the scenes were all scrambling, trying to figure out the same thing. “What did he just say?”
I am cringing for you right now. That is the first thing you should have left out of the Op-Ed. If you want to be a strong female, don’t wait for a man to tell you what to do. And for God’s sake don’t admit it if you do! You’ll reinforce The Patriarchy!
You say it took you a minute to process what was happening – as if something so unbelievable was occurring it did not register to you as reality. Hearing “boobs” on TV is apparently the worst thing that has ever happened to you. How lucky you are! Such privilege.
I’ve been a journalist for 17 years — the past seven spent at CNN hosting a live show. I’ve seen and heard some things. But when I first heard “boobs” from a grown man on national television (in 2017!!!) my initial thought bubble was: “Did I hear that correctly?? There’s no WAY he just came on my show and said what I think he said. … DID HE?” And I let it hang.
(She has “thought bubbles” – how cute and cuddly.)
Superficially that might seem reasonable, but unfortunately it really reveals your ignorance. You should definitely have left that part out of the Op-Ed, because it shows you didn’t do your homework. Clay Travis had made the exact same statement several times before – so it shows you are not familiar with your guests at all, which seems like incompetence. Or, you are lying in order to be able to feign innocence, and grab sensationalized headlines. You are probably thinking right now how you got Clay to play right into your clever plan, but it totally backfired. You were playing checkers and he was playing chest. I mean chess. You give a lot of credence to the info-babe stereotype, and I know you’re trying to be a serious journalist! It’s all so unfair.
After a good bit of time of viewers watching your little wheels spin, you decided to hang up the proverbial phone on Clay. It takes a conscious choice to be offended, and these things take time, so it is understandable that you had just figured out that you should be offended. So you decided to respond with such a girly junior high response it is cringe inducing. Your solution was to not even humor him with any more conversation. You ordered so authoritatively, “Kill the mic. Bye.”
And then I did something I’ve done only a handful of times in my career. I told the control room to kill his mic and said “bye.” I invite a variety people on my show with wide-ranging opinions — sometimes even my jaw hits the floor, too — but I let them speak. Whether it’s left, right or center — I want to expose my viewers to other perspectives. Agree with them or not, the nation needs to listen.But this … was different.
Except, you killed the mic while your other guest, Keith Reed, was talking! It was literally like you threw a pie at Clay, he ducked, and poor Keith got splattered. Epic fail. But in your Op-Ed you don’t acknowledge the fact that you misfired, and try to make it look like you’re so tough. No, it was just timing and you don’t have the skill to hit the target. When it takes you so long to figure out what to do (AKA Hillary – “what should I do about Trump breathing down my neck?” – an equally flattering admission) then you should hold your fire and at least exit with some dignity.
I quickly felt myself turning red — getting irritated and angry. My mind was racing. My face, I could tell, was incredulous. In the thick of it all, I could see my other guest, Keith Reed, was equally aghast.
Now, I know the dilemma you probably have on your mind, but you are not willing to talk about it – that’s why your feigned hysteria is so transparent. It’s the fact that you’ve got boobs, and you wouldn’t mind if they help you get noticed. So, it’s hard, I know. How to thread that needle? How to trade on your looks but then act believably offended when someone talks about looks? You might have had a more legitimate complaint had Clay said something about your boobs, but he didn’t. He was just talking about boobs in general, and effectively demonstrating how easily free speech can be assaulted when someone says a “bad word” like boobs. The point of your segment was completely derailed and you alone, as the host, are to blame.
(What’s the first word you think of when you look at this picture? Mm-hmmm. That’s what I thought. Boobs!)
A final lesson, or two, for you. Stop being offended at every little thing. It just makes you look weak, and does not advance the cause of showing that women are tough enough to make it on their own. It perpetuates the idea that women need safe spaces and protections. NO! We don’t! If you want to run with dogs, get off the porch. You don’t get to sit up there and judge the dogs by the porch rules. To have credibility, you’ve got to play by the yard rules! And win.
Women have every chance to forge their futures into whatever shape they desire. If you truly believe women should have these opportunities then don’t ask for special treatment. Take the opportunity as it is presented and make it what you will. Stop being a pansy!
I’ll add one last preemptive remark to an anticipated criticism of my criticism of you. Assuming you want to be judged on merit, then act like a strong person, not a person with an easily bruised female perspective. If men can’t claim privilege based on sex, then women can’t either. You could’ve gained a lot of points by being witty or beating Clay at his own game, but you took the safe space route and that is never the the way to equal ground. It implicitly acknowledges your weakness and is counterproductive to the advancement of women. You’re not helping!