06-14-2008, 05:53 AM
Facing up to sexism
| Facing up to sexism |
We are only now — a bit late — beginning to face up to sexism as a factor in the Democratic race and as an ongoing problem in America.
Katie Couric spoke out: Video on Website
Sound bite: “It isn’t just Hillary Clinton who needs to learn a lesson from this primary season, it’s all the people who crossed the line and all the women and men who let them get away with it.”
The New York Times today delivers the stock on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand, try-to-say-nothing roundup that comes to no conclusion but does, at least, compile a few of the sins:
Cable television has come under the most criticism. Chris Matthews, a host on MSNBC, called Mrs. Clinton a “she-devil” and said she had gotten as far as she had only because her husband had “messed around.”Howard Dean comes out to decry the sexism. Why didn’t he do this during the campaign?
Mike Barnicle, a panelist on MSNBC, said that Mrs. Clinton was “looking like everyone’s first wife standing outside a probate court.” Tucker Carlson, also on MSNBC, said, “When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.”
The establishment news media were faulted too. The New York Times wrote about Mrs. Clinton’s “cackle” and The Washington Post wrote about her cleavage.
Ken Rudin, an editor at National Public Radio, appeared on CNN, where he equated Mrs. Clinton with the actress Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction.” “She’s going to keep coming back, and they’re not going to stop her,” Mr. Rudin said. He later apologized.
Mr. Dean and others are now calling for a “national discussion” of sexism.
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic Party, who says he was slow to pick up on charges of sexism because he is not a regular viewer of cable television, is taking up the cause after hearing an outcry from what he described as a cross-section of women, from individual voters to powerful politicians and chief executives.
“The media took a very sexist approach to Senator Clinton’s campaign,” Mr. Dean said in a recent interview.
“It’s pretty appalling,” he said, adding that the issue resonates because Mrs. Clinton “got treated the way a lot of women got treated their whole lives.”
Howard Dean doesn’t watch Chris Matthews? Yeah, sure.
: And here’s The Times’ Nick Kristof writing the speech on sexism he wishes Obama would now deliver.
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