does jeff know?

Michigan Misogyny: Not Just For Republicans Any More!

I said good day!If you watch Ed Schultz’s GET OFF MY LAWN hour for liberals, then you’ve probably heard of Virg Bernero, Lansing’s shout-tastic Mayor. Bernero was also the Democrats’ embarrassingly bad Michigan gubernatorial candidate in 2010.

And he might be a sexist and a homophobe who thinks his female political opponents are really men wearing lady clothes! City Councilwoman Jody Washington (a labor-backed Democrat like Bernero) says Mr. Anger Bear Mayor called her a man in drag—specifically a man named Eric Hewitt, who used to be on City Council.

Based on his MSNBC shtick, you might assume that Bernero is one of those uber-PC types that glares at you if you don’t bring reusable bags to the organic local food co-op. That assumption would be wrong. Virg Bernero is actually just another tacky local pol who says not nice things about Native Americans and (allegedly) ladies. Especially when they get in the way of his fun casino plans.

When a reporter asked Bernero about this man in drag allegation, he gave a non-denial denial: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He went on to tell this reporter, a lady, to “get your facts straight. ”

Of course he did. Someone has to set these broads straight. Otherwise, they’ll start to think they’re Carl Bernstein in a dress. Get your facts straight lady and make Virg Bernero a sandwich.

About the author

Jeff Wattrick is someone whose unsolicited submissions accidentally get published on Wonkette. He also writes for Deadline Detroit, which is this thing on the internet about the Motor City.

View all articles by Jeff Wattrick
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          1. Butch_Wagstaff

            Wonkette is just like America! It's a melting pot. Or a pot that's melting…or something.

          2. MittBorg

            Hey-o! The weatherliar claims we were around 81F today, all I can say is if this continues, I'm'a move north. It was so damn fucking hot I opened all the windows and passed out. Even the *cats* were melting. Ever seen a hot cat? They get *r-e-a-l-l-y* long and flat and stretch out on the nearest tile or stone floor, or even in a little mud patch, if they can find one.

  1. Callyson

    With all due respect, I can think of worse insults than being called a man in drag. Being called Ann Coulter, for example, would be much worse…

    …then again, that would amount to the same thing, wouldn't it? OK, never mind, give him hell, honey…

    ETA: actually, that's not fair to men in drag, who don't deserve to be compared to Coultergeist. Never mind…

    1. Jukesgrrl

      Megan McCain was on Chelsea Lately last night (the Chelsea Handler who just gave the Obama campaign a cool million). She said she is horrified to find that some people get her and Coultergeist mixed up. "I'd KILL myself," Megs shrieked.

          1. Butch_Wagstaff

            I got the bad eyes even with glasses. Looks to me like it's a couple of young ladies doin' some sinnin' on top of some kegs?
            Did I guess right? What's my prize?

          2. MittBorg

            From me, you always get a prize. The prize is whatever you want that I can afford. Did you guess right? How would I know? I'm blinder than you! I do fine with distance, but it's getting to where I can no longer read the stuff on my prescription drug labels. At least they're all the kinda drugs that I'll go with a smile on my dial if I OD.

        1. MittBorg

          I gotta remember that you're one of the BAD Wonketteers who puts up linkies, like Baconz and Dok Zoom and NotThatWhateverItIsThisWeekThatHe'sNot.

          I clicked that link. You'll be hearing from my attorneys. (Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe.)

    1. SoBeach

      I tried to like that Tosh, what with him being a hometown guy and all — but I flat can't stand him.

      It took me a while to articulate exactly what it is I don't like. Other comedians say outrageous and shocking stuff. But you can tell underneath it all they're just goofing. Tosh seems like he's got a downright mean streak.

      You knew that Don Rickles, while offensive, was just doing a shtick. It was an act. Tosh seems like a guy who's only pretending that it's an act, to get away with saying the things he really wants to say.

      1. ASHLEIGH_Joe

        Even beyond that I'd say that the problem I have with Tosh is that that's all he really has going on, in terms of humor. And it's hardly unique to him, there's a whole class of "comedians" who think the secret to humor is to be an repulsive douchebag on stage.

        It's not that line-crossing isn't a comedic technique; vulgar humor of all sorts has a strong tradition in comedy (see: The Aristocrats), and actual decent comedians like Louis CK and Sarah Silverman incorporate vulgarity and transgression into their acts pretty ably. The problem is comedians like Tosh, or Dunham, Carolla, or Cook, who think that being vulgar is all it takes, and confuse being a douchebag for being funny. It's insanely lazy and witless and the hallmark of a bad comedians.

        1. Billmatic

          Well said! It's not necessarily this particular incident, his entire act has been racist and angry from the start. This outcry over the specific incident is just the public outing of a hack comedian, and like Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia before him, he'll eventually go down in flames.

          I just don't understand how long we're going to have to put up with Jeff Dunham doing arena shows.

          For all the grief the Blue Collar Comedians took for "legitimizing" a lifestyle, these people are much worse. Besides, I'm pretty sure Larry the Cable Guy is one of the greatest satirists of our generation. He's so good at it, the people he's mocking are the ones who celebrate him!

          1. ASHLEIGH_Joe

            Oh god, I forgot about Mencia. And actually I totally missed the part where he was a plagarist (though I did see the South Park episode that mentioned as much), the big thing there was that his shtick was entirely a whole bunch of insane racism for which he used his own background for cover from criticism. Even when, umm, he was randomly making fun of South Asians.

          2. MittBorg

            I never could stand the guy, so I never watched him after the one time that convinced me he was a pig. So all this is news to me. Thanks for the links and the background, Billmatic.

          3. SoBeach

            Besides, I'm pretty sure Larry the Cable Guy is one of the greatest satirists of our generation. He's so good at it, the people he's mocking are the ones who celebrate him!

            Bingo. And the people celebrating him KNOW he's mocking them. Or their family. They get it. And it's some clever, funny stuff.

            I've never seen Tosh say anything clever.

  2. elviouslyqueer

    No offense to Jody Washington, but no self-respecting drag queen would be caught dead with that hairdo.

  3. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    You see, that is why the best thing you can do with a women in the work place is just ask them to get you coffee. Anything else you say to them will just make them all emotional.

    1. ASHLEIGH_Joe

      It's also probably a good idea to tell them that they're that they look sexy, and to smack their asses. Life is stressful for women in the workplace, and it's important to boost their self-esteem!

        1. MittBorg

          That's a (c)Newt_Gingrich original, isn't it? Or was it some other guy who was spouting on about giraffe hunting and foxholes and monthly infections?

          1. MittBorg

            I thought I remembered that sleazy oily little gasbag belching that out. Gads, these Republicans are such reactionaries, I have to wonder how any sane human being can stand to be around them.

      1. ChessieNefercat

        I had a suggestion, but it looked really dirty after I typed it out, so never mind.

      2. ChessieNefercat

        "I'm sorry, how do you take your coffee? With or without salt?"

        So, my intent would be to throw the hot coffee at them, but give them a choice:
        I'm sorry, how do you take your coffee? In your face or in your lap?

        Slinks off…

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      The Miss Ogyny Pageant – with fancy walkin', sammich makin', and the always-popular barefoot-in-the-kitchen competition.

      1. Chichikovovich

        And someday, on their wedding night, the lucky groom will be the first to Phyl Ogeny.

  4. Antispandex

    Well, has anyone SEEN Eric Hewitt lately? I mean, how do we know it isn't a common mistake?

    1. MittBorg

      The ex floored me with that, one day. You know the old quote. "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." I had never thought of it that way.

        1. MittBorg

          Yes, but "they're people" means they're entitled to all the *rights* that people have. Including the right to be complete and total assholes. That blew my mind. I thought only men could do that.

  5. Beowoof

    Virg is just pissed that Jody has bigger balls than he does and isn't afraid to stand up to this arrogant douche.

  6. Chichikovovich

    Virg Bernero is not only a creep, he also fails my personal "Are you so corrupt that you'll oppose a project that has nothing but advantages to your constituents, just because you've been bought off by contributions from a scofflaw billionaire?" test. That is, Bernero opposed (and, I would guess, still opposes) the second bridge over the Detroit river. i.e. he's bought and paid for by Maroun.

    That said, I must say I think this is a bit overblown. He did not say "She's a man in drag". There's a particular person, Eric Hewitt, and Bernero said that she is Hewitt in drag.

    If I was trying to characterize some hitherto unknown Texas politician, a woman, who exhibited the worst extremes of wingnuttism, I might find "She's Rick Perry in drag" a snappy way to put it. To say that I was thereby saying that she was "a man" would be to twist my words.

    1. PuckStopsHere

      I'll have to look into the bridge thingy, but I like Virg. He's a good, solid FDR Democrat who has a pair and isn't shy about showing them off. That's why he lost to that clown Snider. He came across as angry and that, according to the polling, turned a lot of voters off. From my point of view, given the sorry state of affairs here in our fair mitten, he had and has a lot to be angry about. And I'll bet you are correct. He wasn't calling the gentlewoman a drag queen, he was saying she reminded him of Hewitt in drag based upon her policy positions, but I don't know the details. But I do like Virg nonetheless. We'd be better off had he won the governorship. But then again, we'd be better off had virtually anyone won the governorship besides the guy who did.

    2. MittBorg

      It's rather unfortunate … almost sad … that this maker of bridges and corrupter of politicians should be known by the monicker of Maroun, which, I take it, is pronounced exactly like that other word his constituents doubtless use on him regularly — maroon?

    3. Chow Yun Flat

      If Bernero took Matty's money (and the line of pols with their hands out was long, deep and bipartisan) it certainly wasn't money well spent. As the mayor of Lansing he has as much to say about the bridge (International Trade Crossing if you will) as I do. He was the Dems candidate for governor only because they had to have one and never really had a chance.

  7. sbj1964

    I'm half Irish,and half scottish;so that means I can drink,and fight,and still look good in a skirt! I mean a kilt.Yeah a kilt right.

  8. Jus_Wonderin

    So, I've spent the last 40 minutes watching clips of Tootsie. I guess I could call it research.

    "God, I begged you to get some therapy."

    1. MittBorg

      Now I'm wondering just what on earth you DO, J_W, because I can tell you, I tried that old "I was doing research" when busted scanning YouTube clips, and my boss was all, "We're supposed to be working on science and computers, not samba music."

      1. Jus_Wonderin

        LOL. Computer games. I “lead” the Art Dept; with free time today. Actually, it could be wildly construed as research from a oblique sociological angle. Tootsie: The Video Game!!!

        1. MittBorg

          Oh, how cool is that! You can get away with YouTubeing at work!

          Mind you, the boss who busted me on that used to come in and read the stock market reports for an hour every morning, but apparently, it's easier to pretend THAT is work.

  9. ttommyunger

    This kind of schoolyard douchebaggery is rampant among politicians at every level today. Is it something in the national water supply or are we just becoming a Nation of assholes?

    1. Buckminster

      They act in Montana as if we reporters were unruly schoolboys, but– they are learning. The more you slappy-paw at me, the more slappy-paw you get on Page 1

  10. Chow Yun Flat

    It wasn't really a non-denial denial from Virg. He says “I don’t know what you’re talking about" a lot since he doesn't know much about anything.

  11. Designer_Radio

    Yay! Jeff, you figured out the Alt Text thingy! I knew as soon as I told you about how it's the only thing holding you back from Wonkette Blogging Billionaire Town, you'd come along.

  12. kittensdontlie

    This too much a he said-she said(what she thought he meant when he said it because she was affected with emotion at the time).

  13. Buckminster

    Virg sounds a little brain-dead. Let's just unelect this creep. The lady, however, is just fine. She has comic value.

  14. Negropolis

    Not going to lie, Virg is my mayor and I'm a supporter, so I'm admittedly biased. Until someone has this documented, it's heresay as far as I'm concerned. As for the charge that he's a homophobe, that couldn't be further from the truth. Look up the guy's history from past to present.

    I haven't seen Jody come up with a single witness to this. When asked, she gave the bullshit answer that they don't want to be named, and they are using his past blow-ups as some kind of proof that he said this. It is no mystery that the mayor has a temper (and usually he has a right to), but you can't just make shit up because of that. Virg has got a big fucking mouth, to the point of where I've had to criticize him, myself, even as a supporter, but unless Jody has got the proof, this is slander, straight-up, and her robocalling this is despicable.

    BTW, the local media should be ashamed they are reporting this claim without asking following up on Jody's side of this. I'm talking to you, MLive and Lansing City Pulse.

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