Former Bill Clinton official writes scathing op-ed on coverage of Hillary Clinton
David Rothkopf ripped the media, and he named names, including the Washington Post, Daily Beast and New York Times:
When it comes to Hillary Rodham Clinton, we're missing the forest for the pantsuits.
Clinton is not the first celebrity to become the nation's top diplomat -- that honor goes to her most distant predecessor, Thomas Jefferson, who by the time he took office was one of the most famous and gossiped-about men in America -- but she may be the biggest. And during her first seven months in office, the former first lady, erstwhile presidential candidate and eternal lightning rod has drawn more attention for her moods, looks, outtakes and (of course) relationship with her husband than for, well, her work revamping the nation's foreign policy.
Even venerable publications -- such as one to which I regularly contribute, Foreign Policy -- have woven into their all-Hillary-all-the-time coverage odd discussions of Clinton's handbag and scarf choices. Daily Beast editor Tina Brown, while depicting herself as a Clinton supporter, has been scathing and small-minded in discussing such things as Clinton's weight and hair, while her "defense" of Hillary in her essay "Obama's Other Wife" was as sexist as the title suggests.
Indeed, sexism has followed Clinton from the campaign trail to Foggy Bottom, as seen most recently in the posturing outrage surrounding the exchange in Congo when Clinton reacted with understandable frustration to the now-infamous question regarding her husband's views. Major media outlets have joined the gossipfest, whether the New York Times, which covered Clinton's first big policy speech by discussing whether she was in or out with the White House, or The Washington Post, where a couple of reporters mused about whether a brew called Mad Bitch would be the beer of choice for the secretary of state.
3. There is nothing in the article claiming that Clinton
is the only person suffering from sexism in the media. The bulk of the article was about the changes to foreign policy in this administration and the evolving relationship between Obama and Clinton.You could try reading it.
6. Sexism isn't drivel. To imagine that Clinton hasn't seen
her fair share of it is delusional.There is, and always has been, a silly exaggeration of powerful womens clothes,ability to age well, family relationships and any glimpse of anger seen as "shrill".It was a well written discourse on Clinton's abilities,media coverage and foreign policy changes under this administration.
Hillary has been subjected to more sexism than most women. BS. Have you seen the coverage of Michelle Obama, from her arms to to her shorts? What about "Bush's other wife"? The media is filled with sexist assholes. I take issue with people trying to create the impression that Hillary is subjected to it more than most.
13. Tell me when it was said that Rice drank bitch beer
or for that matter find one article in which Rice is called a bitch. Lots of luck finding it. Chris Matthews and David Schuster had to apologize for their sexist conduct after months of it all, not some, not most, but all as in the entirety of the conduct having been directed at Hillary or Chelsea.
9. Hillary can take that shit with both arms tied behind her back
and leave bodies strewn around her while she's left standing, and doing that wonderful cackle by the way.
On the silver lining side of the issue at least we're seeing her in action because they love to dog her every move. So far she's done pretty well which shows she uses the media to highlight her job as an Obama high ranking appointee. If she comes out unscathed from the petty gossip then let's take notes and ignore it with her.
16. What new terrain - Rice and Albright were Secretaries of state
Other than being a serious candidate for President, I can't think of anything she was first at. As to tough as nails, she stayed away from teh Senate - which was in session - for over a month after the last primary when it was completely clear that she had lost. A male Senator who did this would have been roundly criticized.
20. And we see right here someone who hasn't gotten over the primaries.
I'm glad you recognize she was the most successful female candidate for President to date.
Michelle Obama has been subjected to sexism (and racism as well). It doesn't mean that sexism against Hillary, or for that matter against Sarah Palin is any less wrong just because other women have been subjected to it. It makes it all the worse, in my opinion.
If the cause of fighting sexism is important to you, since you recognize that many other women than Hillary have suffered from it, perhaps you would be willing to make a video similar to the one created from footage of sexism against Hillary in the media? It would be helpful for people to see how widespread it truly is.
As someone who entered the workforce in a traditionally male field in 1972, I understand what sexism is. Of course you can find sexist coverage of any prominent woman you choose. But, you find mocking, negative coverage for nearly every male candidate as well. I do think there were sexist jokes and comments, but I also think there were times that even valid criticisms of Clinton were labeled sexism.
The coverage of Hillary Clinton in 2006 and 2007 was no more disrespectful than the coverage given to Howard Dean or John Kerry in 2004. Howard Dean was labeled "angry" and made to look impetuous, though nothing in his 12 years as governor of Vermont supported either of those negatives. John Kerry was a genuine war hero and had a reputation as a serious Senator, who took on some hard issues that no one else was willing too. Yet in addition to his well documented service record being questioned by people who supplied not a scintilla of corroboration, he was portrayed as having no real accomplishments in his career and his happy marriage was completely distorted by people suggesting he married his wife for her money. His and Teresa's personalities and accomplishments were distorted by the media. (Consider HRC was given more credit in 2008 than Kerry in 2004 for SCHIP, when significant parts of it were written for the Kerry/Kennedy, the precursor bill. HRC did deserve some of the credit she was given as she pushed Bill Clinton to fund it in the appropriations bill.)
I do not blame sexism for the fact that Teresa Heinz Kerry's very real achievements over more than a decade on green building were ignored, while in 2007, there were many articles on Bill Clinton's foundation taking green building on before he did anything. Did anyone in 2004 cover the fact that Teresa was instrumental in reviving Pittsburgh? http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hQgwN... Note that it was Teresa, who initiated the meeting of all the foundations that started these inititives. The reason there was not sexism. It had little to do with THK. It was the media not wanting John Kerry to be validated because she married him. (Remember how many people trusted Edwards, because of Elizabeth? Bill because of Hillary in 1992?)
These are just three examples of people I think the media treated worse than they treated Hillary Clinton. I think Clinton got a mix of overly negative AND overly positive coverage in 2006 - 2008. On balance, I don't think she was treated badly compared to most politicians. Her Senate career was completely hyped in many accounts. This does not mean there weren't things that never should have been said or written.
I also think there were times that Clinton herself used gender. In the NH debate, when there was a question on "change", her response was that just by being the first woman after 42 men, she would be change is an incredibly sexist comment - as it implies that women, just by being women, would lead in a different direction. In addition, after the Philly debate, rather than putting out a complex answer on the Spitzer question and moving past an embarrassing moment, she referred to the "guys" ganging up on the "girl", though in fact, what had happened was the NORMAL pile up on the frontrunner. (Remember this happened with Dean in late 2003.) She is the one who cast it through a sexist lens. The fact is, she had done well (other than the Spitzer question) and should have simply said that everyone always attacked the front runner - pointing out she was the front runner.
While I agree there is sexism, I think your comment on Palin actually takes it too far. The fact is that no male would have gotten away with the dumber than Dan Quayle answers. The chutzpah of saying early in the VP debate that she did not have to answer the questions, but could say anything she wanted was stunning. Did you ever see Bill Clinton or John Kerry or even John Edwards ever wink even once - much less often? Palin was flagrantly sexual, daring anyone to say so - and for the most part, serious people didn't.
22. Palin didn't earn her treatment nearly as early as she got it, though.
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 11:13 AM by moriah
Listening to the media and reading boards and blogs the first weekend after her announcement was astounding. I am a feminist, and I don't try to hide it at all (I work in a predominately male field as well). I was completely disgusted to see my fellow liberals who have in the past supported equal pay for equal work, and supported not allowing employer discrimination against pregnant women or women with children, who said the fact she had young children made her unsuitable -- when there were so many other things that made her unsuitable to be VP that we wouldn't have run out of ammunition against her even without the sexist comments. The fact she was dumb had nothing to do with her gender -- and as I said about that wink recently, "I don't want a politician making eyes at me no matter what their gender."
And actually... I've never really trusted any political candidates because of their spouses. I acknowledged the work they did to help their spouse, and their own accomplishments, but love can do very stupid things to people's judgment.
I'm assuming you did not feel any of the criticisms listed in that particular video were valid -- and I also assume you saw the many comments made about other women, including Michelle. But just because you can find something all over does not mean it is right. Far from it.
27. I said there was sexism and I said it was wrong - so your assumptions are wrong
The main thing I have ever used to evaluate a candidate is their own record. It is undeniable that people do make some inference from the people you choose to associate with. My point there was that the motive in 2004 to diminish Teresa Kerry, was not sexism, it was to lessen John Kerry's chances.
I never said that because it was common place, it was all right.
29. So just what in that video was a valid criticism?
Of Hillary, Michelle, Nancy Pelosi, or any of the other women who were shown being treated in a very sexist manner?
I said that I assumed you saw the fact that it wasn't just about Hillary, and that I assumed you agreed that the segments profiled there were completely over the top. My assumptions were actually in your favor. If they really were wrong, please tell me what of that garbage about any of them you think was fair.
24. Hillary is the first woman actually to be making a real success of the job,
even though there are issues that IMHO should be handled differently. Rice was a joke; Albright was too tied into her own preconceived notions and relied too much on former cronies, although she did well enough of a job to demonstrate that one shouldn't discriminate against women in this appointment at least.
******** The sexism against Hillary is something quite vicious and that's a fact, although we also see much of the same viciousness gainst Michelle Obama. Something there is that doesn't like a strong, intelligent and beautiful woman, especially when that woman is a Democrat.
Hillary has just started this and she did not have a huge amount of foreign policy experience when she started. So far, I can't think of any major significant thing she has done. If there were, I think we would know it as the coverage of Clinton is bi-polar. One pole sounded as unbiased as the baby journal written for a first born, long awaited child - and the other is hateful.
Though Allbright (and the President she supported) were too hawkish for me, I do not see Albright as having been a failure. Her comment on collateral damage was extremely poor and worse than anything HRC has ever said.
But this is an area where I actually know many "players" and have experience. I'm thus more optimistic than not so far and she's doing well. Yes, there are still many areas where she really needs to be more proactive and break away from *Co and DLC mindsets. However, she's getting a lot of early rave reviews from the pros and foreign diplomats, which is not something that the US MSM knows much about ... or will ever report ... anyway. As noted above, I didn't see Albright as an outright failure; she did a decent job in the circumstances, but she was not exactly a "success" and yes, I agree that she was much too hawkish in addition to other issues that I mentioned. Hill is an intelligent woman who actually listens to people who know what's going on. That will serve us all well in the long run.
38. That's due to ongoing *Co and DLC mentality that still permeate this administration too much, IMO.
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 06:59 PM by BlueMTexpat
She can't do it all by herself. And she certainly can't turn it all around when so many of the "boys" do love their guns the way they do. But in her little corner of Government, she's quietly and competently doing what she can.
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