WhoreGate: Does It Matter If Woman or Man Called Meg Whitman a 'Whore'?

Categories: Politics
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Reports now point to the wife of Jerry Brown as the voice on a recording calling Meg Whitman a "whore" for cutting a deal with police unions to exempt their massive pensions from her so-called pension reform plan.

Mark it zero, dude: In 2010, it's news when a candidate's wife uses the term "whore" to describe a politician selling out her ideals for material gain. That, by the way, is the dictionary definition of the term "whore" -- though admittedly not the first definition. Your humble narrator much prefers the name-calling style of yesteryear, when candidates insulted one-another's parentage in the coarsest possible manner. It was crude and it was despicable -- but at least it was each candidate going on the record with his thoughts.

The whole calculus of "WhoreGate" is confounding. Whitman's camp is gauging that voters will care more that a Brown staffer -- or relative -- used the term "whore" than they will about the allegation that, when pressured by a powerful police union, Whitman caved on her pension policy.

Also, now that it seems established that the offending term was uttered by a woman -- does that matter? Both Patty Bellasalma of the state's National Organization for Women and Kathy Kneer of Planned Parenthood say it doesn't. "It's a vulgar term and there were much better words that could have been chosen to describe Meg Whitman's behavior," said Ballasalma. "It was insensitive and perhaps even inappropriate," adds Kneer.

Perhaps?

In any event, it will be interesting to see if "WhoreGate" is a political footnote or full-fledged foot-in-mouth moment. It also will be interesting to see if Whitman's campaign calls upon its supporters to cease using the term "Media Whore" to describe the ubiquitous Gloria Allred.

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