CBS ‘60 Minutes’ reporter Leslie Stahl found herself under fire online from the fans of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after asking her if the octogenarian senior House Democrat was prepared to pass the baton to younger politicians.
During a Sunday interview, Stahl asked Pelosi about a potential future leadership change, in reference to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez previously accusing Congressional Democrats of not training the next generation of party heads.
“You’re 80, your number two [House Majority Leader] Steny Hoyer is 81, your number three [House Majority Whip] Jim Clyburn is 80. Why haven’t you brought young people into the leadership?” Stahl asked.
Pelosi responded by saying that they had, adding that Stahl might not have known that.
“Why does AOC complain that you have not been grooming younger people for leadership?” the interviewer reiterated her question.
“I don’t know,” the Speaker quickly replied, almost cutting Stahl off, “You’ll have to ask her… because we are.”
Stahl then remarked that Pelosi’s answer seemed “sharp” and “dismissive” of Ocasio-Cortez.
“I’m not dismissing her,” Pelosi responded, saying the party is “building support for what comes next” with regard to other House members “that the press doesn’t pay attention to.”
The seemingly innocuous exchange, however, sparked intense backlash online, with Pelosi supporters accusing Stahl of being “combative” and even “ageist,” despite the reporter herself being 79.
“It is time to retire dinosaur Leslie Stahl,” one of Pelosi’s defenders tweeted, adding, “and no, I am not being ageist.”
The was an uncomfortable and embarrassing moment for Leslie Stahl. Respect is gone. None left. She was rude and combative. Respect for Nancy.
— Shari 🇨🇦 (@ShariFreeWill) January 11, 2021
It is time to retire dinosaur Leslie Stahl and no I am not being ageist. She has been irrelevant in mind for decades. WTseriousF.
— Fvck your fee fees Biden and Harris won (@matryoskadoll) January 11, 2021
Others attacked Stahl for supposedly being jealous of Pelosi’s political career, while other tweeters insisted the reporter was being sexist.
“Leslie Stahl’s hair looks like a cheesy wig. She’s probably bald and very jealous of Speaker Pelosi,” one person tweeted.
Leslie Stahl’s hair looks like a cheesy wig. She’s probably bald and very jealous of Speaker Pelosi. Nasty so-called interview. Why can’t 60 Minutes find somebody younger who doesn’t have an alarming old-age eye disease?
— Angela Barnett (@Angela_Biochem) January 11, 2021
Nancy Pelosi is 3rd in line to the Presidency which makes her the most powerful woman in the USA.Insecure women can be catty and combative.If only Stahl was as aggressive with Trump. Leslie asked him one question and he left for a diaper change.
— Sammy Jo (@oJymmaSS) January 11, 2021
Still trying to get over Leslie Stahl’s sexist, ageist questions to @SpeakerPelosi after an attempted coup. Way to trivialize, Leslie! Btw, where is your back bench replacement? We’re ready for them. You are 79, right? And we hear you aren’t easy to get along with. @60Minutes
— Bootsie Thibodeaux (@originalBootsie) January 11, 2021
Back in December, Ocasio-Cortez asserted that the Democrats “need new leadership,” but have no one to replace the likes of Pelosi, and the 70-year-old Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
That comment itself was Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to some progressive activists pushing her and other left-wing House members to withhold their vote for Pelosi as House Speaker unless she puts the Medicare For All universal healthcare plan up for a floor vote. Having disagreed with the idea from the onset, Ocasio-Cortez voted for Pelosi on January 3.
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