Peggy Agar’s sweetie rematch

agar-rematch-4-cropt2It is probably the best kept secret in the blogosphere, but remember back when Presidential candidate Barack Obama called a reporter Sweetie? Then he apologized and promised to give her an interview later. Well, someone left a message on a thread here earlier today saying Agar was going to get her interview. But when I googled it, I found out the interview had already taken place–back in June.

What did Peggy Agar want to ask a presidential candidate back in May?

I wanted to ask him what he plans on doing for, you know, auto workers in America, which of course specifically means Detroit…. you know, he’s shaking hands with auto workers, he’s running for president, he hasn’t been here in ten months, you know. That’s the time to say what you’re gonna do for these people, how you’re going to help them keep their jobs and keep their homes.

agar-head-shotWhen the interview did take place on June 2, that’s exactly what Agar asked him about. Then she went on to ask about seating the Michigan delegates at the Denver convention, about education for Michigan’s children, continuing with questions about how his answers for Michigan differed from McCain’s.

Early in the interview, she even got a laugh from him

AGAR: Most people I think are probably saying now that they think you’ll have the nomination. If that does come to fruition, do you think Hillary Clinton will vote for you?

OBAMA: Yes, I do.

agar-rematch3cropt3Not a difficult or hostile interview, and not one that asked any tough questions, but to the point and done in a way that let him give his prepared answers to the issues. About what you would expect from a local reporter in a major metropolitan area–if one who got an unexpected 15 minutes of fame.  And since everyone wants to comment on how women look these days, let me just say that Agar looked very put together and so did Obama.

Transcript and video here.

Don’t call me Sweetie: t-shirts, buttons, and magnets

When journalist Peggy Agar asked presidential candidate Barack Obama what he was going to do about Michigan plants closing, his answer was “hold on one second, Sweetie”. She–and Michigan–are still waiting.

Dismissive or disrespectful?

The nation’s economy–and a professional journalist–both deserve a better answer than “don’t worry your pretty little head about it”.

No more “sweetie”.

You can call me “sweetie”…

when I can call you “boy”.

T-shirts, magnets, stickers, and buttons, that say “no dismissiveness” in no uncertain terms. Items have either a “No sweetie” symbol or a “You can call me ‘sweetie’ when I can call you ‘boy'” slogan.

Here’s the Geek design, the code for the end of a format:

The velvet hand in the iron glove–with hearts:

Or Goth–with skull and crossbones:

Or the international symbol–a circle with a red line through the word “sweetie”:

Posted in Election 2008, Obama, Women. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Comments Off on Don’t call me Sweetie: t-shirts, buttons, and magnets

Does it matter whether Barack Obama calls Peggy Agar “sweetie”?

“Senator, how are you gonna help the American auto worker?”

Peggy Agar of Detroit’s Channel 7 WXYZ had been sent to get a soundbite from a candidate. The soundbite she wanted, and the soundbite her listeners wanted, was about automobile plants closing. The soundbite he gave her was “Hold on one second, sweetie“. The question was never answered.

For Agar the question was about local jobs, but the blogosphere as usual put its own interpretation on the exchange. On one typical thread, some claimed not to understand why calling any adult professional “sweety” was offensive. Others railed at the news service for publishing it at all. ‘Jay from the west’ said,

Are you kidding? come on lets not make a mountian out of a mole will. He was just being nice, its no tlike he slapped her on the backside and told her to “get” or anything.

Egad! What DO they think of professional women out there in “the west”?

A commmenter on the same thread named ‘hoping for your end’ claimed racism was the motivation behind the story,

a large sink hole like the one recently reported about should swallow cnn up until there’s nothing left of your stupid hack jobs on obama. what, is it because he’s black that your treat him with such contempt?

So asking a black candidate a question about jobs is now off limits?

Others hurled invective at rival candidate Clinton or at the reporter who asked the question. Said one commenter, signing their name as ‘OH GOD, GIMMIE A FREAKIN’ BREAK!!!’,

You, girlie, are NOT that important! GET A FREAKIN’ LIFE, MAN, TOY, WHATEVER it is you need to make you less BITTER for goodness sake!

Several others mentioned, I think more realistically, that “sweety” is something they would call their children or grandchildren. For some reason, the senator appeared to equate this journalist with a child–someone you would not take seriously or treat as an adult.

That, of course, is the insult, for those who haven’t figured it out yet. Journalists are adults and ask adult questions on behalf of the communities that watch their programs. Responding to Agar with the kind of language one uses for a child implies that Agar is not qualified for her job–or that the question itself is not pertinent. Agar asked a question that the community takes very seriously–but instead of being given a serious answer, was given the verbal equivalent of a lollipop and a pat on the head.

So the first issue here is the one that Agar identifies–that of closing plants and lost jobs.

The second issue here is Agar herself. Who is she? What is she about? From local blogger Emily XYZ we find out she usually works in the middle of the night, reporting about traffic conditions. Then we find out she has a two year old at home and was taking a nap when Obama called to apologize. This is the type of American we need to be supporting, not undercutting.

An even more bizarre issue is raised by a blogger without a nickname–and no, I’m not going to give a link–who says the following, and I’ll have to put a lot of asterisks in here, since I list this site as child-friendly:

What if, by w***ing to the almighty dollar, you have to try and discredit one of the only alternatives to Bush III? Well, sister, discrediting Obama is tantamount to trying to make McCain look good. Making McCain look good is like saying you enjoy f****** the average American and would like to see more war, bull**** politics, substandard status quo and selling off of our country and rights to rich foreign investors. You appear to be a selfish b**** who would destroy this country for face time. FACE TIME. That is deplorable.

The third issue then is the hardcore Obama supporters who don’t believe in asking any serious questions of the candidate for fear that he might lose the election. Perhaps they don’t believe he can answer the questions. For them the end justifies the means–their only interest is in electing a particular candidate. For them, the president does not exist to solve the problems of the country. The country—the plant workers losing their jobs and the journalist mothers working odd hours to try to raise their families–are not important. They are not the country, rather, they are destroying the country by not closing their eyes to the economic problems that beset the nation.

Personally, I think this third group is underrating Obama. We need to be asking more, not less of candidates. We need to be discovering the truth, not hiding it to protect the powerful Obamas and Clintons and McCains of this world. The factory workers need answers, the mothers struggling to raise children while working night jobs need answers. They, and not the powerful politicians, are the backbone of this nation. Politicians work for us, we don’t work for them.

Who knows, if we are willing to expect something from candidates, they just might start expecting more of themselves as well. And that might be the change we are really waiting for.

Would someone get Peggy Agar a makeover?

Everyone who saw Barack Obama call Peggy Agar “sweetie” on Detroit’s WXYZ Channel 7, wanted to see the face that went with the voice.

I’m trying to think of a way to say this that doesn’t sound either brutal or deeply shallow and I can’t think of one. So I’ll just come out and say it. Peggy Agar needs a makeover.

Yes, I’m blond too, and a little heavier than I would like to be (who isn’t), but I’m not on television. Peggy Agar is.

First of all, that red jacket. Blonds, at least natural blonds with our completion type ( I think I’m a “winter”) can’t wear that shade of red. Cinnamon red, okay. Brick red. Salmon red. Not scarlet. Let the Asians wear scarlet–we just can’t pull it off. And what’s the matter with more conservative colors–gray, black, blue, navy? We can wear those colors–they show off our faces. They disguise less-than-perfect figures.

Then there’s the hair. I once met a guy who they said “combed his hair with firecrackers”. I can’t begin to figure out what’s wrong with Ms. Agar’s hair, maybe the part…? She needs to start out with a good basic cut, that’s for sure. Short enough to fall naturally instead of bunching up, but long enough not to make her look heavier.

Remember back when Oprah had a “face made for radio”? Ewww. But she’s presentable now, very presentable. And her wardrobe–an even worse disaster!!!! Oprah has no taste whatsoever, but she doesn’t need taste. She has talent and she has money and she has People. She can use her time to do what she does best, then pay someone else to do her appearance.

I have never seen Peggy Agar before–maybe she was just having a Bad Hair Day–but I can see this much. She has voice and she has presence. But she doesn’t have People.

Here is my advice for Peggy Agar:

Your fifteen minutes of fame is not over yet. You’ve got about ten minutes left. The Obama people owe you one, big time, and one day soon you may be able to collect.

Here’s what you do. Get some People. Hair People, makeup People, personal trainer People. People who know how to make you look good on camera. Can you find out who does Ellen? Hillary? Maybe they will do it as a promotion?

Oooh! Oooh! Maybe Tyra would do you. “Fierce walk, fierce walk!” I love Tyra.

Figure out how to write it off as a business expense. It is. Then have fun with it. It’s your life. Enjoy it. Try the stuff they give you, no matter how bizarre. I think Ellen did a segment like this when she was starting out–they had her as motorcycle mama, soccer mom, etc.

Then think about what’s wrong about the Obama campaign, and what he and his surrogates need to learn to be an effective President or Vice President for ALL the American people, including women. I want to hear you ask him the tough questions. Whether he thinks women should worry their pretty little heads about having careers. The feminization of poverty. How he would incorporate women into his staff. Would he have cutsie little Monica-type interns and flirt with them the way he does with the female voters, or would he take them seriously? Bill Clinton has had to defend the racist charges against him time and again. Obama needs to do the same with sexism. Then think of where you want your career path to go next–do you want to be the next Charlie Rose? the next Baba Wawa? –and ask Obama some of those kind of questions too. Sort of a national resume tryout.

Maybe the WXYZ could hype it a bit and solicit better questions from Detroit viewers, or have the voters use their cellphones to vote on questions they want to see Obama answer. Or solicit questions from the Clinton campaign just for equal time.

I don’t live anywhere near Detroit, but believe me, if Peggy Agar can pull off that interview with Barack Obama, I will be looking for it on the internet.

Oh, and I hear the Senator’s wife calls him “stinky” as a term of endearment…..hee, hee …. are you thinking what I’m thinking….

Okay, so that’s my free advice. You can decide if it’s worth what you paid for it.

“Sweetie???” Senator Obama just doesn’t get it.

“Hold on one second Sweetie”, was Barack Obama’s response today to a Michigan reporter who asked “How are you going to help the American auto workers?”


And what about the reporter–does she have a name besides “Sweetie”? Yup. She’s Peggy Agar of Detroit’s WXYZ Channel 7.

Damozel, over at Buck Naked Politics reports a similar exchange last month described in Maureen Dowd’s column (no, I do NOT have the elite, premium NYT subscription):

Hillary has clearly raised Obama’s consciousness about the importance of courting the ladies. Touring a manufacturing plant in Allentown, Pa., Tuesday, he was flirtatious, winking and grinning at the women working there, calling one “Sweetie,” telling another she was “beautiful,” and imitating his daughters’ dance moves by twirling around.

Later, at a Scranton town hall, he went up to Denise Mercuri, a pharmacist from Dunmore wearing a Hillary button. “What do I need to do? Do you want me on my knees?” he charmed, before promising: “I’ll give you a kiss.”

Purrs Damozel acidly, “I am deeply shallow and he is madly attractive. But then I would switch back again to get a kiss from Bill Clinton or a smile from Hillary. I’m like that.”

Clinton supporters are already ticked off about the senator’s “Oh, you’re likable enough, Hillary” comment during a debate as well as his “brushing Hillary off his suit jacket” gesture the morning after the last debate, which many saw as condescending. There was the way he ridiculed her for handling a gun, too.

Whatever is he thinking? No wonder Obama only received 22% of the women’s vote in yesterday’s primary.

What to do. I have never given out Pinnochios–that’s a different website, and this really isn’t a Pinnochio type thing. What about Snobamas? Yeah, that’s the ticket. I hereby award three Snobamas to the senator for his distainful attitude towards women.

Update: The senator has apologized by leaving a message on the reporter’s cellphone—breezily using her first name… “Hi, Peggy…”

In case there is anyone who still just doesn’t get it, a commenter on the Chicago Tribune probably said it best:

“He can call me ‘sweetie’ when I can call him ‘boy’.”