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COLUMN: Baby, it’s misogynistic out there | Columns

With the arrival of December comes the arrival also of the Christmas season and with it the traditional songs, stories and TV specials of the holiday season.

It also has become the time of the year when the joyless do their best to ensure joy is not spread too far and wide.

Take a couple of holiday classics.

First up, we have a Cleveland radio station now refusing to play the classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” a song that, while not an obvious Christmas tune, has been associated with the holiday season since 1949 when it was first introduced in the movie “Neptune’s Daughter,” which starred Esther Williams.

It’s a simple, flirtatious number originally performed by Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting trading off lyrics in a whimsical song of a man trying to convince a woman to not go home, well, because it’s cold outside while she provides many reasons to go home.

But in today’s world, such give-and-take interplay is viewed as something sinister by the social justice warrior mob which succeeded in bullying WDOK-FM into striking it from its playlist.

Explains radio host Glenn Anderson in a blog post, “We used to play the song ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ but you’re the Christmas Executive Officer at Star 102 and you told us it’s no longer appropriate. I gotta be honest, I didn’t understand why the lyrics were so bad … Until I read them.”

Now, I am not here to call out Anderson, don’t even know him, but I do know folks in Cleveland are not likely to get worked up about a playful 70-year-old song. I mean, this is a town known for the infamous 10-cent beer night drunken riot that took place during a Cleveland Indians game against the Texas Rangers in 1974. Cleveland, a city unfairly labeled “the mistake by the lake” is a blue-collar, rough-hewn town that isn’t going to feel threatened by a song that sounds beyond tame compared to what is being played on other stations.

No, it’s likely the folks at WDOK fell prey to a concerted effort by the social justice warrior crowd, most of whom likely have never listened to the station, let alone the song.

The line that appears to have the SJWs up in arms is when Whiting asks “What’s in this drink?” It’s more rhetorical, but the upset, alleged listeners, apparently equate that line to date rape, or trying to drug the woman’s drink, a la Bill Cosby. A report by CBS News on the song being yanked then goes on to state the song takes on a more “sinister” tone in today’s #MeToo movement and the songs “suggestive lines” drum up images of Cosby and Harvey Weinstein.


The radio station appeared to run a poll, but the results of the poll are mysteriously not available on its website, according to the CBS report. 

What’s worth noting is that when the song was used in the 1949 film, it was sung in the movie first by Williams and Ricardo Montalbán and then the roles were flipped when Betty Garrett and Red Skelton sang it. 

But it’s not just a song that has the SJW crowd up in arms. None other than left-leaning HuffPost, the preferred news source of SJWs, chimed in by decrying another holiday classic, finding “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”  to be “seriously problematic” on Twitter.

Yes, your childhood story of overcoming being different and overcoming obstacles, is no more than a story of misogyny, homophobia, racism and bullying, according to the joyless viewers at HuffPo.

Why is it misogynistic, according to HuffPo? Well, the proof is when Rudolph’s mother wants to help Donner, Rudolph’s dad, search for Rudolph and is told “no, this is man’s work.” HuffPo’s video also claims that when Rudolph was forced to wear a fake nose by Donner in order to be accepted by the other reindeer, it was bullying and verbally abusive.

We are further scolded by a HuffPo viewer that Santa is need of diversity training because of his all-male, apparently all-white work crew.

The moral of the story may have been lost on the folks at HuffPo, but The Daily Beast columnist Robby Soave tried to set them straight, by tweeting “But… but… the bigoted characters learn they were wrong. It teaches a lesson. It doesn’t endorse the problematic stuff.” 

That’s, of course, what makes it a Christmas classic. But why let that get in the way of a good rant?

But, as one online comment noted, surely there are plenty of other real concerns at this time of year, such as being mindful of how difficult December is for families who have had their grandmother run over by a reindeer. 

’Tis the season.

Ruthenberg is a multiple award-winning columnist and writer for the News & Eagle. Contact him at

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