This week, the political world spent an inordinate amount of time discussing something a CNN pundit said, and the Romney campaign and the Republican Party did their best to exploit it. For the record, here's what former record-industry lobbyist Hilary Rosen remarked about Mitt Romney's wife, Ann:
'Well, you know my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues and when I listen to my wife that's what I'm hearing.' Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and why do we worry about their future."
Rosen has since apologized and even though she's not affiliated with the Obama administration or campaign, the President and Vice President both weighed in with some forceful comments. But the spin machine was already fully operational, and Rosen had enabled Ann Romney's launch into the national zeitgeist. Just days later, even conservative columnists are writing that this just isn't that deep.
But you know what's surprising? I find that the best thing that happens when the political world is hit with a big, juicy bomb full of false equivalence and phony outrage is that really smart people still find ways to say really smart things that add to the conversation. (And heads-up: we have a really smart person hosting our show.)
Melissa will delve into that topic, and explore the issue of women's work with guests such as Joanne Bamberger, 2012 elections editor at iVillage, and founder and editor of PunditMom; Alice Stewart, the press secretary for the now-suspended Rick Santorum presidential campaign; and Ellen Bravo, the executive director of the Family Values at Work Consortium.
Other topics will include this week's dramatic developments in the Trayvon Martin case, the under-discussed problem of sex trafficking, and sherpas. (Really.) Other guests will include:
- Mira Sorvino, Academy-Award winning actor and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to Combat Human Trafficking. (Yes, that's her whole title.)
- Jeff Johnson, msnbc contributor and executive editor of Politic365.com.
- Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, president of Auburn Seminary.
- Liz McDougall, General Counsel for Village Voice Media Holdings.
- Jerry Shargel, Manhattan-based criminal defense attorney.
- Seema Iyer, former Bronx prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney.
- Joe Watkins, Republican strategist and former George H.W. Bush White House aide.
- Rachel Lloyd, executive director and founder of Girls Educational Mentoring Services.