Friday, August 1, 2008

It’s 2008: Will Democratic Platform Condemn the Media’s Sexist Bias?

1960s feminist icon Gloria Steinem must be shaking her head at how long it takes for so-called liberals to wake up and call the media to account.

People, it’s 2008. Can you believe that after all these years the political party that has long claimed the mantle of liberalism has to be prodded to even acknowledge the sexist assaults Hillary Clinton endured from a blatantly biased media throughout the Democratic primary?

Part of the problem has to be the subtext here: Democratic Party leaders colluded with the media for months in their efforts to force Hillary Clinton out of the race, even warning her - while she was still a contender - not to be overly critical of her opponent. As Gloria Steinem and others have since pointed out, this is the first presidential race in the nation’s history in which the media had the gall to repeatedly ask a serious candidate to drop out.

So here we are on Aug. 1, 2008 linking to an article in the Los Angeles Times that sounds as if it might have been pulled from the paper’s 1960s archives. Written by staff writer Peter Nicholas, For Clinton supporters, it's a gender issue begins:

‘“WASHINGTON -- As her chances of becoming vice president recede, some of Hillary Rodham Clinton's supporters are pushing for the Democratic Party's new platform to state that the primary elections "exposed pervasive gender bias in the media" and to call on party leaders to take ‘immediate and public steps’ to condemn future perceived instances of bias.

“The push for the plank in the party's statement of principles reflects a lingering unhappiness over Clinton's treatment during the Democratic primary, and over what her supporters say was an inadequate response from party leaders.”

Nicholas continues:

‘“Some Clinton supporters have complained of jibes against the New York senator by TV talk show hosts, off-color novelty items and incidents such as the time when hecklers yelled ‘Iron my shirt!’ at a Clinton rally.

“A Democratic committee devoted to writing the platform is to meet today in Cleveland to hear presentations from policy advocates, then draft the document.

“There were so many examples in the media of sexist comments where we never heard from the party leadership or Barack Obama,’ said Stacy Mason, executive director of a political action committee called WomenCount, which claims thousands of members. The group ran newspaper ads in the spring urging Clinton to stay in the contest.

‘“We're focused on why the Democratic leadership was so silent about it during the campaign,’ Mason said. ‘It was their obligation to come to the defense of one of their own primary candidates, and they didn't. They stayed silent during the campaign, and that's not OK.”’

To read more, go here.


  1. The Republicans love to accuse the Democrats of playing "identity politics." I've tried to raise consciousness about Nerd issues. I'm still waiting for the big response. If it's somebody else's problem-- "it's not my problem." Most people just don't care. It's a lack of compassion. Being masculine means being a bully to a lot of folks. That's how they tell the men from the other people. Do you know what the media bullies would say to your suggestion that they behave themselves?

    "Make me."

    If one of us is in chains, we are all in chains. You can't free the women first, or the black people first, or anybody "first." You have to open up and awaken to the fact that we ALL need liberation. "The rocks by the side of the road are crying out for salvation."

  2. Well, Dan, at least we're aware now that women in different cultures are treated with varying degrees of cruelty and oppression and far too often, they are still considered the spoils of war. I watched a news item last night featuring a woman from Rwanda who had been repeatedly raped and otherwise abused by the conquerors of her people. When America treats a woman in a leadership position the way the media, et al, have treated Hillary Clinton this past year, we're not offering a very good example to the rest of the world.