Rush Limbaugh Attacks Food Writer Tracie McMillan For Being ‘Young, Single White Woman’


By Briana Rognlin • March 9, 2012

Watch out, ladies: Now that his advertisers’ mass exodus has forced Rush Limbaugh to back off from calling Sandra Fluke a slut and prostitute, he seems to be looking for new targets in our demographic. Earlier this week, Limbaugh spent 40 minutes insulting Tracie McMillan and her new book, “The American Way Of Eating,” about our country’s food system and what it’s like to eat for the working class. Weird, right?—Especially considering that her book came out two weeks ago. But it seems that mostly, Limbaugh has designated her an easy target for his rage over all the “young, single white women” in this country who dare to speak about issues regarding our health.

Limbaugh spent 40 minutes on air on Tuesday attacking McMillan, her book, and its review in the New York Times, kicking off the discussion by expressing his annoyance at her gender, race, age, and education level:

Every time I find evidence of a massive forthcoming event to take away a little bit of our freedom under the guise of improving our health or our safety or security, I’m going to warn you about it because the end game is to take away your freedom.

And so now we have a book by Tracie McMillan, The American Way Of Eating, which has according to the New York Times as its premise that only the fancy and the snobs get good food.

What is it with all of these young, single, white women, over-educated—doesn’t mean intelligent.

Limbaugh’s attack on McMillan—who, in fact, grew up in a working class family from Michigan and possesses a B.A. in political science from New York University—mostly skirted around the real issues in the book.

McMillan has since appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, and today published a reaction in The Atlantic online:

…I had been prepared in a general way to argue about the central political point of my book: That both private enterprise and government have failed Americans when it comes to providing us with good, healthy food. But what befuddled me was the implicit idea that my status as a single woman, and as someone who worked my way through college to get a B.A., might be considered sufficient to discredit my work.

Upon reflection, all of Limbaugh’s observations about me — my marital status, my race, my education — are code for “elite,” which in turn carries the connotation of being far removed from the realities of daily life. That’s ironic, given the nature of my book: an undercover, first-person attempt to live and work in America’s food system. It doesn’t get much grittier in America than a Central Valley peach orchard hitting 105 degrees in July, coupled with a wave of projectile vomiting brought about by heat sickness. I can tell you that because I’ve experienced it. If Rush did more than push paper around a desk all day, I’d invite him to try shedding his elite status and get his hands dirty.

It’s hard to say exactly how much of Limbaugh’s choice in topics is a shot at getting press, as Maddow has suggested, versus a shot at real discussion of politics. But either way, he seems hell bent on making sure all of us young, single white women are aware that to him, women aren’t really people.

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