Politics

Brian Schweitzer "Gaydar" Comment The Latest Headache For MSNBC

The former governor’s remarks about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s sexuality don’t jibe with MSNBC’s progressive format.

In a new profile of former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer, the paid MSNBC contributor revealed his thoughts about outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s sexuality:

“Don’t hold this against me, but I’m going to blurt it out. How do I say this … men in the South, they are a little effeminate,” he offered when I mentioned the stunning news. When I asked him what he meant, he added, “They just have effeminate mannerisms. If you were just a regular person, you turned on the TV, and you saw Eric Cantor talking, I would say—and I’m fine with gay people, that’s all right—but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he’s not, I think, so I don’t know. Again, I couldn’t care less. I’m accepting.”

The quote has raised doubts about Schweitzer’s viability as a possible Democratic challenger to Hillary Clinton in 2016, but it also raises questions about whether that kind of rhetoric is acceptable to a progressive media outlet like MSNBC.

The remarks are the latest in a string of controversial comments from talent and staff that have resulted in bad press, apologies, and sometimes, firings for MSNBC.

Schweitzer traveled an interesting road to MSNBC. Before he was hired by the network in February of 2014, he claimed that MSNBC was a “hair on fire” media outlet and the prospect of working there was not something that he was interested in.

BuzzFeed’s request for comment from MSNBC on Schweitzer’s remarks has not been returned.

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