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Mike Huckabee's Non Apology For Slut Shaming Natalie Portman

Reported by Priscilla - March 6, 2011 -

Mike Huckabee is part of the Fox News stable of good Christians. But he does seem to have a bit of a "false witness" problem. After Natalie Portman won the prestigious Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the critically acclaimed performance in "The Black Swan," Mike Huckabee, rather than reflect on her performance, engaged in a bit of "Murphy Brown" slut shaming. In the Republican tradition started by Vice-President Dan Quayle, Huckabee, during a radio interview with conservative Michael Medved, accused Portman, who thanked her fiancée and Black Swan co-star Benjamin Millepied for her soon to be born baby (described as his "greatest gift"), of "glamourizing" having "children out of wedlock." He then provided some dubious statistics about how "most single moms are poor and uneducated" and the "cost of that is simply staggering." Suffice to say, he got a lot of blowback and walked his commentary back by issuing a statement in which he said that Portman was "an extraordinary actor" and that his comments "weren't meant to be deprecating" but rather about the "statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock." So in addition to slut shaming Portman, Huckabee was trying to score political points by attacking single mothers. So was this really an apology or just more right wing misinformation and hypocrisy? Oh, no, a good Fox News Republican Christian and possible presidential candidate would never stoop to that! Ya think!

As the well educated and wonderful Professor Melissa Harris Lacewell, the interracial child of a single mother, points out, Huckabee's information wasn't entirely correct: "80% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed and fewer than 10% are recipients of Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF). Poverty rates are certainly much higher among single parents. Nearly 27% live below the poverty line. But this number does not approach the “most” which Huckabee claims." She does note that the outlook for single teenage mothers isn't as hopeful and mentions how the GOP right wing had no problem with Bristol Palin's pregnancy. As many pundits have noted, Huckabee didn't say bupkis about Bristol Palin's pregnancy. Harris makes an even more profound point about how, if Huckabee is concerned about single moms, he should lobby the US Senate to encourage them to refuse to defund Planned Parenthood - without which, there would be lots more single mothers. I would also add that it's Huckabee's party that wants to cut funding for WIC and other programs which are utilized by single mothers.

As the "Church Lady" would say, "isn't that special" that Minister Huckabee would take somebody's moment of fame and turn it into a polemic about single parenthood. But it did hit all the requisite right wing talking points: Hollywood liberals, slutty women who have children "out of wedlock," and the "costs" to society of single parents who, as Huckabee pointed out in his clarification, are well represented in minority communities. (Wait a minute, I thought they were being "genocided.") Funny, I thought the Christian right doesn't want women terminating their pregnancies. It's all so confusing; but for Huckabee's base, it's crystal clear. Nice to see that Fox News employs slut shaming Christian hypocrites like Huckabee whose performance, in this case, was hardly award winning!

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