Tom Shales Is Very, Very Sorry About His Latest Sexist Remark


Although he is weary of “the angrier blogs, the ones who are always angry about somebody saying something,” WaPo TV critic Tom Shales would like to apologize for what he said about Alison Stewart. Sort of.

In a review of Alison Stewart and Jon Meacham’s Need To Know on PBS, Shales said that Stewart “looked as though she would have been much more comfortable in [guest Bill] Clinton’s lap.” She wasn’t too happy, and Shales was asked about it in a chat yesterday. He replied,

I do however want to apologize to cohost Alison Stewart for the line about her looking as tho she’d have been more at home in Bill Clinton’s lap. That was seen by some as a graphic sexual reference (it was not meant that way, but c’est la vie); I was talking about cozying up, nothing more sinister than that. I perhaps should have said that cohost Jon Meacham looked as though he wanted to broadcast from Clinton’s lap too. They were both too soft on Bill, but then he brings that out in journalists – of both sexes, oui? (I occasionally lapse into high-school French – attempt to sound worldly)…..

See, it was totally innocent. And obviously he has no history of creepily sexist remarks about women on TV whatsoever! He added, in response to another question,

And again, it was not meant to be sexist. Some of the angrier blogs, the ones who are always angry about somebody saying something, have tried to link the “lap” remark to something I said about the Roman Polanski case and — ugh, I really don’t want to wade into that sea of worms … I will tell you with a hand on the Bible or any other widely respected book that several years back, Marlo Thomas wrote to me from an airplane yet, “Tom Shales, you are a feminist,” and I have proudly considered myself one ever since. Of course, some may disagree………..

The extra-long ellipsis, I guess, is an opening for us to say that we are not impressed. Which we aren’t.

Shales On TV Live [WP]

Earlier: WaPo TV Critic Tom Shales Has A Lady Problem

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